10 Top Web Wiki Applications

Everyone is familiar with Wikipedia, a wiki that is collectively created and curated. Well, wikis of various size, color and shape have been around for the past five years or so. There are desktop based wikis (such as VoodooPad for OS X), self hosted wikis and web application wikis.

Definition Of

First off — what is a wiki? It’s a strange word, but common enough now that it has been added to the new Oxford American Dictionary.

Wiki — now a part of the English language.

Wiki — now a part of the English language.

And although the definition states that a wiki is a web page, desktop applications have been created to give you the same functionality. Actually, the definition is fairly broad and could cover various types of current tools.

But of course, we’re focusing on what the web offers in this category.

Purpose

So, other than large scale wiki’s like Wikipedia, how can you or your team use a tool like this on a smaller scale?

For starters, many corporate intranets would include some feature that resembles a wiki — multiple users can contribute to the content. And the basic purpose behind the rise in wiki’s. There has been a push to move from the traditional folder hierarchy and move to tools that give users a wiki-style of format for working repositories of documentation.

So if you want to be able to collaboratively work on files, with more than one person giving feedback or modifying a document, than wiki’s are a good option. They can also be used for communication with their bulletin board-style of input.

Best Available Options

And so, if a wiki is a good fit for your team, here are some of the best web applications available in this genre.

The Best

cctext

cctext looks like one of the best options available.

cctext looks like one of the best options available.

Still in beta, cctext looks extremely promising and I think it can be the leader in this space. A clean design is a great start, but it also has all the features you’d want. This includes their workspaces, which contain message board-like ‘topics’ and related files.

Pricing: $4 per user per month

Google Sites

Another free tool from the information overlords.

Another free tool from the information overlords.

More of a collection of web page, Google Sites offers much of the functionality people associate with a wiki. You can add various components to a page, such as announcements, file storage, and lists. You also have the availability to control the access users have to each page.

This is perhaps not what people think of when they think wiki, but it fits the definition.

Pricing: Free

Backpack

Popular tool Backpack offers all the tools for a team to work together and communicate.

Popular tool Backpack offers all the tools for a team to work together and communicate.

Again, this is probably an option that many would not consider to be a wiki, but it fits the earmark. A web page — or rather, a collection of web pages — Backpack can play the role of a wiki very well.

With the options available on its pages and writeboards, Backpack can give a group of users all that is needed to openly collaborate on content.

Pricing: Free / $24 / $49 / $99 / $149 (Monthly)

PBWorks

PBworks — a fully featured app.

PBworks — a fully featured app.

A more ‘traditional’ wiki-style tool, PBworks is one of the most popular wiki tools on the web. It offers similar features with collaborative page editing, document sharing, message boards and auditing.

Pricing: Various plans from free to $240 per user per month. Yearly plans also available.

The Rest

Focused on smaller numbers of users.

Focused on smaller numbers of users.

Luminotes

More of a personal notebook wiki, Luminotes is a good option for single users.

Pricing: Free

This option is a bit pricey.

This option is a bit pricey.

BrainKeeper

Billing itself as enterprise wiki software, BrainKeeper offers various plans for different sized groups.

Pricing: Plans from $17 per month to $499 per month

More topic focused.

More topic focused.

intodit

Another more personal option, intodit allows you to create a wiki on a particular topic. The wiki can then be edited by anyone

Pricing: Free

Focused on notes.

Focused on notes.

springnote

This one describes itself as a “free online notebook based on wiki”. And that’s what it is — springnote allows you to create a personal or group notebook and is focused more on notes.

But don’t let their definition fool you. It offers similar functionality to the services above.

Pricing: Free

Another good option from Zoho.

Another good option from Zoho.

Zoho Wiki

Another tool from the team at Zoho, their Wiki tool is similar to all the rest. You can create pages and share them, control the access other users have, and share documents.

Pricing: Free / $12 / $20 / $35 / $80 (Monthly)



Wikispaces — nicely designed.

Wikispaces — nicely designed.

Wikispaces

A nice option, Wikispaces adds to the usual features by allowing the addition of widgets to the pages you create — widgets that allow you to access other web services such as Google Calendar from your page.

Pricing: Free / $5 / $20 (Monthly) or $1000 per year for private wikis

Not What You Expected?

There’s a chance that I threw some of you off by the inclusion of some of the tools here. When people think wiki, they most often think of something like Wikipedia. But the man from which the term originated described as wiki as thus:

the simplest online database that could possibly work

And Wikipedia lists the following common usages of wikis in general:

Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites, to power community websites, for personal note taking, in corporate intranets, and in knowledge management systems.

And even though we’ve come to view wikis as knowledge management systems like Wikipedia, all the web services listed above fit the definition of a wiki.

Now you simply have to choose the one that best suits your needs.


  • http://human3rror.com John (Human3rror)

    love backpack.

  • http://www.brightbrightgreat.com Jason Schwartz

    I occasionally use backpack (project/client depending). My creative team is currently using a tool called Jira by Confluence (which is insanely ghetto) and I’m not even sure is meant for team collaboration.

    However, ghetto or not, I highly recommend moving ALL creative teams to project management tools. My team of 6 had over 1,150 issues logged since April 2009.

    Imagine keeping all of those on notebook paper. ;)

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