Ward Cunningham of Portland, Oregon began designing the first Wiki software in 1984, and it debuted in 1995 on the Internet. He used the term Wiki to mean "quick," getting the name from a shuttle service in Honolulu, Hawaii. A common assumtion is that Wiki is an acronym for "What I Know Is," but this is false. Cunningham's inspiration came from Apple's HyperCard.


Wikis were initially designed for project communication, intranets, and documentation. They are now used by companies as their only form of collaborative software. Static interanets are not as often used anymore, though they do offer a more secure way to share information. Schools have now adopted wikis for easy group learning.


Wikis are designed to be used with standard software (no add-ons) and all users are encouraged to edit or create a page. A wiki is a very social and user-friendly tool for getting and sharing information. The first thing one will notice about a wiki article is the large number of hyperlinks on a page. In a wiki article, one will see many blue underlined words, which are a link to another wiki article. This causes one to visit a wiki article to learn about a topic. But the array of hyperlinks will cause one to involuntarily research other topics related to the article. When one tries to veer as far away from the original topic as possible via hyperlinks, it is known as "Wikiball."


Due to a wiki being so easy to edit, people will often tinker with an article to give others false information. Also, the social nature of a wiki causes teachers and schools to view wiki articles as a non-reliable source. A major flaw that Canninghum overlooked is the addictiveness of the wiki; Wikiballing happens on accident to any user at least once. High school students will often plagerize directly from sites such as, due to a wiki's ease-to-read information.

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