Monday, March 17, 2008

Create your own wiki with WetPaint

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If you have visited Wikipedia (I'm sure you have), you must have noticed that it is different from the websites you usually come across on the Internet. Wikipedia is a community run website and it's contents are editable by the visitors, even you. Such type of sites are called "wikis". Quoting from Wikipedia itself:

A wiki is software that allows users to easily create, edit, and link pages together. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites. These wiki websites are often also referred to as wikis; for example, Wikipedia is one of the best known wikis.

wetpaintWetPaint is such a wiki software. Creating wikis and even websites with WetPaint is extremely easy. If you are a novice and HTML looks Greek to you, then WetPaint is the one you should start with. It will not only guide you in creating your free wiki, but will also teach you how to promote it and make your site search engine friendly, something which is popularly know as SEO (search engine optimization). These are some services no blogging platform like Blogspot or Wordpress will offer you. But WetPaint does have it's own set of disadvantages, as we shall see later.

A wiki created on WetPaint serves not only as a wiki but as a blog and a discussion forum. You can invite others to join the wiki and make him or her a writer to contribute articles to it, or a moderator to moderate what others contribute to the site. All these permissions can be set through a very user friendly dashboard. And if you get stumped anywhere, there is an extensive help section to answer to your questions.

Now let us see some of the features in WetPaint.

The Good

- Very easy to use. All dashboard options are self explanatory.
- WYSIWYG editor with spellchecker.
- Easily add or delete pages. Upload pictures and attachment to pages.
- Embed videos from YouTube or Google Video.
- Create RSS feeds
- Use your own domain name instead of yourname.wetpaint.com which you get when you sign-up with WetPaint.
- It comes with a To-Do list with priority settings
- Ability to use visitor tracking scripts from Sitemeter and Google Analytical.
- Backup you wiki by downloading the contents in a zip file
- Ability to ban users based on IP address
- A couple of widgets like tag cloud, recent activity list, top commenter etc are available to add to the wiki
- Basic SEO guidance

The Bad

- You cannot edit the HTML. This is the biggest drawback of WetPaint. You can choose from a number of templates available and can also upload your own header image. But you can't change the layout, the font, the color or do any other modification to the page.
- No Flash objects or audio files can be embedded to the pages
- Unable to add any third party HTML codes, widgets etc. Of course you can't do that since the HTML code is not accessible.
- The Wiki comes with embedded Google Adsense ads and no, you aren't entitled to a share of the revenue. However, education wikis created by students or teachers can qualify for special ad-free wikis.
- Does not support Opera. The page breakdown when viewed in Opera. Only supported browsers are Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Despite some of it's shortcomings particularly the inability to modify the HTML codes, which is a big handicap to this platform, WetPaint is a great wiki software. WetPaint is not suited much for large organizations that requires highly customizable pages and the ability to integrate various services into it. But WetPaint can work out great for small organizations and small teams to collaborate on. Easy-to-use and click-and-edit type of interface are the biggest plus points of WetPaint.

2 comments:

  1. {{blocked|trolling}}

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have been blocked from editing on this wiki for an amount of time of trolling.
    * Date of block , December 13, 2010 4:48 PM
    * End of block , January 13, 2011 4:48 PM

    ReplyDelete

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