Anyone reading this is familiar with Wikipedia, but there’s more to these user-editable Web sites than just the wildly popular crowdsourced encyclopedia. Here are some wikis that are a little bit geeky. OK, a lot.
This was the original Wiki. When Ward Cunningham needed to get another terminal at Honolulu airport, an airline employee told him to take the “Wiki Wiki” shuttle. Years later, when he developed a Web site that anybody could edit, he called it WikiWikiWeb. Wiki is the Hawaiian word for “quick”. His wiki was the first and discusses topics based on programming. It’s still going strong today. An interesting twist is that instead of the familiar Encylopedic style that’s become known through Wikipedia, the articles are structured around discussions. Sometimes, it seems like you’re looking at a forum or bulletin board system, for those of you old enough to remember them.
This one is truly addictive. I suggest this one with great trepidation. As one xkcd comic demonstrated, once you discover TV Tropes, a wiki dedicated to discussing tropes or patterns in all kinds of media, you’ll find yourself clicking links and wondering where the time went. Then it will start to infest your vocabulary. You’ll start using terms like “lampshading” and “the law of conservation of detail” and others. Then you’ll start editing the wiki, and our life will be over. At least it’ll be fun.
This one is a spin-off of WikiWikiWeb. It deals with building various on-line communities, from wikis. “Meatball is a community of active practitioners striving to teach each other how to organize people using online tools. Members here are engaged with building or caring for communities, community knowledge or supporting community tools.” It features discussion of the kinds of personalities you run into online, including the dreaded trolls. It’s kind of a design patterns for communities online.
We can’t leave Star Wars fans in the cold. If you thought that the regular Wikipedia was full of Star Wars trivia (even if their administrators frown on “fancruft,” the inclusion of trivia that only geeks care about). Wookiepedia contains everything you ever wanted to know about the Star Wars universe and then some. Two other wikis, Wikiversity and Wikibooks were mentioned as some of the best free math/science lessons available online. We’ve also got more than enough Star Wars content for you fans out there. There’s the Jersey Shore Greedo and Chew-Bach-a, among others in our archives.