Cite this UBC Wiki page

We’ve added a new extension on the UBC Wiki which creates citations in a variety of different formats for any page.

To use it, look for a new link called “Cite this page” under the toolbox in the left-side column.  Clicking on the link will take you to a Special:Cite page which automatically generates citations for the page in a variety of formats.  You can then copy a formatted citation and paste it where ever you like (into a paper, report, citation management software, etc).

Here’s an example of it in action for the UBC Twitter Accounts Page.  One interesting thing to note is that the hyperlinks in the citations do not go directly to the live page, but instead point to the “current revision” from the page history.  Thus, when people follow the link in your citation, they’ll see same version of the article as you saw it when you cited it.

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Upcoming Wiki Support Session on April 4th

The next Wiki Support session will be on Monday, April 4th, from 1pm to 3pm in the Frasier River Room in the CTLT offices in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The UBC Wiki Support sessions are informal meeting times where users can drop by and talk face to face with wiki administrators to ask for information, support, or to discuss any aspect of using the UBC Wiki.

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Upcoming Wiki Support Session on March 21st

The next Wiki Support session will be on Monday, March 21st, from 1pm to 3pm in the Frasier River Room in the CTLT offices in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The UBC Wiki Support sessions are informal meeting times where users can drop by and talk face to face with wiki administrators to ask for information, support, or to discuss any aspect of using the UBC Wiki.

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Adding Widgets to the Wiki

The MediaWiki Widgets extension was recently installed on the UBC Wiki. Widgets allow users to embed content and applications from other web services directly into their wiki pages.

For example, Wolfram|Alpha allows users to build complex data calculators based on Wolfram|Alpha queries. These calculators can then be embedded as widgets into a UBC Wiki Page. Likewise, a slide presentation hosted on Google Presentations or a pdf document hosted on SlideShare can be embedded into the Wiki.

Please visit the the UBC Wiki Widget Help page for more information on how to use widgets and to see which widgets have been installed on the wiki. If you are interested in having a specific widget installed on the wiki (or have developed one yourself), please let us know.

More information on MediaWiki Widgets can be found at www.mediawikiwidgets.org.

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Upcoming Wiki Support Session on March 7th

The next Wiki Support session will be on Monday, March 7th, from 1pm to 3pm in the Frasier River Room in the CTLT offices in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The UBC Wiki Support sessions are informal meeting times where users can drop by and talk face to face with wiki administrators to ask for information, support, or to discuss any aspect of using the UBC Wiki.

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Upcoming Wiki Support Session on February 21st

The next Wiki Support session will be on Monday, February 21st, from 1pm to 3pm in the Frasier River Room in the CTLT offices in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The UBC Wiki Support sessions are informal meeting times where users can drop by and talk face to face with wiki administrators to ask for information, support, or to discuss any aspect of using the UBC Wiki.

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Upcoming Wiki Support Session on February 7th.

The next Wiki Support session will be on Monday, February 7th, from 1pm to 3pm in the Frasier River Room in the CTLT offices in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The UBC Wiki Support sessions are informal meeting times where users can drop by and talk face to face with wiki administrators to ask for information, support, or to discuss any aspect of using the UBC Wiki.

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Upcoming Wiki Support Session on January 31st

The next Wiki Support session will be on Monday, January 31st, from 1pm to 3pm in the Frasier River Room in the CTLT offices in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The UBC Wiki Support sessions are informal meeting times where users can drop by and talk face to face with wiki administrators to ask for information, support, or to discuss any aspect of using the UBC Wiki.

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Upcoming Wiki Support Session on January 10th

The first Wiki Support session of 2011 will be on on Monday, January 10th, from 1pm to 3pm in the Frasier River Room in the CTLT offices in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

The UBC Wiki Support sessions are informal meeting times where users can drop by and talk face to face with wiki administrators to ask for information, support, or to discuss any aspect of using the UBC Wiki.

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Reflections on Organization and Community

So, it’s been about six months since I began working on the wiki organization project. With the launch of the updated interface, I thought I’d take a quick moment to reflect.

When I began working on the Wiki in July, my immediate priorities were:

  • To build a complete help section for the wiki. This step was essential for me as, at the time, I was new to MediaWiki software and creating help documentation enabled me to learn the software as I went along. I’m not that unusual – most users have not encountered MediaWiki before so having well written help pages makes the learning process quicker and lowers the barriers to entry.
  • To review the current organizational strategies and determine if anything could be improved or changed to make the wiki better. One thing I focused on was to better define and communicate the purposes of each individual namespace. As users began to understand the purpose of a namespace, they began to use them more. I still think the main space needs to be better defined.
  • To dive into the content, add categories to pages, cross-link articles, and move content to fit the organizational strategy. One of the strategies that I believe has worked well is dropping users a note anytime I touch their content. Direct communication changes the idea the wiki is just a website but rather a place that other people are using.

Ward Cunnigham created the first wiki with the belief that groups of people who want to collaborate also tend to trust one another and I think this is true on the UBC Wiki. One thing that became apparent to me is that a successfully organized wiki is not just a matter of creating proper namespaces or applying taxonomies; it is also a matter of developing community. When users understand that the Wiki is not just an individual tool, but rather a space with lots of users, they take more time to make sure their content fits into the Wiki’s organizational schema.

One of the best definitions of wikis that I’ve seen states that a wiki is a tool for distributed collaboration. Organization on a wiki, I believe, is fundamentally about collaboration. If users on the UBC Wiki are working on different projects (for example, if one person is writing a course assignment and if someone else is updating an employe manual), the way they organize their pages within the context of the greater wiki is a form of collaboration, even if they are not aware of the other person or their work.

The UBC Wiki is a tool measure in potential energy and its greatest assest is its users.  The more it gets used, the more useful it will be.

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