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What is a wiki?

Wikis have been made famous by our friends at Wikipedia — the free, collaborative encyclopedia.

Wiki software was invented by a generous and unassuming man named Ward Cunningham in 1994. He named it after the Hawaiian word for quick (wiki wiki).

Wiki webpages are designed to be quickly and easily edited by their users. With a few clicks of your mouse you can be contributing to a page.

What makes WikiTree a wiki?

The text sections on WikiTree profile pages are wiki. They can quickly and easily be written, expanded upon, and corrected.

More generally, all the information on profiles — names, dates, family relationships, information about photographs — is collaborative. Everything is tracked through activity feeds and can be corrected and expanded upon at any time.

Why aren't wikis ruined by vandals?

A key element of wikis is what's called "version history". All changes are carefully recorded so that you can see who changed what.

On WikiTree you're alerted to changes in your Watchlist through activity feeds and weekly e-mail updates.

Vandals can do temporary damage but their vandalism can easily be fixed. Repeat offenders can be blocked.

Can your family history be edited by anyone?

WikiTree is not a completely open wiki. It balances privacy and collaboration.

Profiles of living people are private. Most of the information on private profiles can't even be seen by anyone who isn't on the Trusted List. Profiles of non-living people that are still relatively modern are public but can still only be edited by the Trusted List. Deeper ancestors are open for collaboration by all Wiki Genealogists who have signed the Honor Code.

The selection of the Privacy Level is largely up to you for modern people. However, it's important to understand that these privacy controls are about privacy, not control. We're still a wiki. WikiTree is for collaboration on a single family tree, not just for storing your tree or showing it to others.

How is WikiTree different from Wikipedia?


This page was last modified 08:28, 29 December 2017. This page has been accessed 13,607 times.