The Nature of Wiki

When Ward set out to develop his original wiki over twenty years ago, he had a different intention then how it ended up being primarily used.

His intention was to create a platform for a community to share stories and learn together as they used new concepts of Pattern Languages to exponentially accelerate the speed in which software was developed.

He found, though, that maintaining this platform, originally called the WikiWikiWeb , required continual site curation. He played this invisible role, reviewing pages, cleaning them up, and making sure that others did not deface them.

Others communities began to adopt this platform to create and share content, most notably by Wikipedia and multiple versions of his originally wiki software have been developed (last count, over 140!).

These communities have primarily used this platform to develop and share knowledge that is valuable for the others. Many of these communities are private companies, others are public ones.

So, while the original wiki set out to support a learning process, it primarily ended up being used as a knowledge base.

We could call his original wiki engine, then, a "knowledge wiki".

About six years ago, Ward set out to re-imagine a wiki that would fulfill his original intention of a "learning wiki". This new version, called Federated Wiki is based on entirely new concepts.