Out of the 3 we only signed up for accounts at Seed Wiki and Swiki. But unfortunately suffered problems at Swiki; we found the set-up difficult and we had trouble accessing our page. In comparison to how easily and quickly we were progressing with Seed Wiki, we decided there was no real competition and chose the latter as the Wiki farm to develop our Wiki. We looked at a few existing Wikis before we started to see what we might be able to achieve and to get some inspiration for the topic of our Wiki. We eventually decided upon a music based Wiki as we could all choose individual areas of expertise to write about, and it is something we all enjoy.
At first all of the groups information was going to go on the one page, but it was then decided that each member should branch off from the original page to their own. This was decided so that the initial page did not look so cluttered. Each member of the group chose their own style of music to write about. Using personal knowledge and assistance from the web, each member of the group successfully completed their individual link. Images obtained and shown are from personal sources, Internet sites or musical programmes.
WHAT WE DID
Having decided to use the next thing to do was to set up the account.. This was fairly straightforward, as you only have to click ‘Start a Wiki’ and then fill out the form on the screen. Information that was required was a code word, a name (we just used ‘Kelly, Michael + Nick’) and an e-mail address. Then a wiki name was needed (‘MusicTypes’) a language (‘English’) and a description were entered.
Pages can be created with ‘SeedWiki’ by clicking on ‘Edit Page’ in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. You can log in by entering the code word in the appropriate box on the screen but this is not necessary to create and edit pages.
When the edit screen has been opened there are a number of ways to edit the page. These are ‘ActiveEditControl’, ‘JavaApplet’, ‘HTML Editor’ and ‘TextArea’. The group used mainly the ‘ActiveEditControl’, which has the main features of a word processor, and the HTML editor was also used from time to time, this displays the HTML code for the page, to create the wiki.
The wiki was split into three sections
- Michael Jackson
- Stage Music
- Music Of Oasis
All the pages were linked together and can be accessed from the main page. There is also a discussion board.
Our initial Wiki home page is split into four different sections
SECTIONS OF THE WIKI:
- DISCUSSION BOARD
We also included a discussion board on our Wiki, this was simply done by adding a new page and inviting visitors to leave comments or join discussions. Two days after setting it up we received our first message aimed at the Michael Jackson part of the site. It read:
- “Michael Jackson is a sick **** who needs to be locked up, i think its gross that you guys are
glorifying a paedophile YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!!!!
Instead of deleting it, we left the comment and added our own in the hope of starting a discussion, but as yet we have received no other comments.
- MICHAEL JACKSON
By Michael Constantino
I chose Michael Jackson as the subject of my section as I am a big fan, and find it easier and more fun to work around a subject you enjoy. I decided I would use a main page for the section and created links from my page to my other pages. I included I photo here, which I centrally aligned. I added the photo using the HTML Editor available, and entered the URL, as with all the photos on our Wiki, I included a line saying where we obtained the images. I originally attempted to just paste these images, but they were not displaying properly however the URL way worked well. Using the underscore character, I smartly separated my page into sections, one each for my internal links, and one for the link I included to . I kept the same font throughout my section (Arial), also I only used black or red, making the page easy to read and I decided to keep my background white, partly for appearance and also for ease of reading. All my pages followed the same layout, Although my music page contained 8 internal links, to pages discussing the albums.
- STAGE MUSIC
By Kelly Barret
The reason I chose Stage Music, is because it has always interested me. All of the chosen musicals on this Wiki I have personally seen and the images are taken from the programmes obtained at this showings. I scanned the images onto my computer and copied them over. All of the information written on these musicals is from personal knowledge or information obtained from . I decided to use different fonts and colours for each show to make them eye catching and interesting. I wanted to use a variety of fonts and colours to make the large sections of text less intimidating.
RENT:- A size 12, Century in electric blue
CATS:- A size 12, Verdana in red
Starlight Express:- A size 12, Sydnie in magenta
Whistle down the Wind: A size 12, Times New Roman in green
Phantom of the Opera:- A size 12, Century Gothic in blue
I decided to add links to other Wiki pages that I had created in order to make the original page seem less cluttered. I had no problems doing this, as we had already done it for our initial Wiki home page. I thought that the use of images would also brighten the Wiki and allow users to get a glimpse of what the show looks like whilst they are reading the text.
- MUSIC OF OASIS
By Nick Barker
This page is about the band ‘Oasis’ and some of their best albums and singles. It includes quotes from other websites that have reviewed some of their material. There is also a section called ‘Track Listings’ which shows a list of all Oasis’ tracks – album by album.
‘SeedWiki’ allows links to be created between pages. The method that can be used is to type in the name of the new page you want to create (the page you are linking to) as two words with no space in between. For example, the link to the Michael Jackson page was created by typing, ‘MichaelJackson’, the second word has to be started with a capital. A question mark then appears after this word (e.g. ‘MichaelJackson?’), which, when clicked on, opens up a new page which can be edited in the usual way.
This worked very well most of the time. However sometimes you might only want to create a page that has a one-word title. This problem was encountered on the ‘Music Of Oasis’ section. The word ‘Oasis’ couldn’t be used to link to a page using this method, the only way it could it could be done would be to, for example, type in ‘OaSis’ or to use more than one word, as was done in this case.
Another, and possibly better, way of overcoming this problem could be to use the HTML Editor which is available on the ‘SeedWiki’ service. This would allow links to be created using the <a> tag. Clearly this would solve all of the problems mentioned above but as ‘wikis’ are designed to be created by people who do not have much knowledge of HTML, it would be advantageous if the same functionality could be obtained by using the ‘ActiveEditControl’ feature of the ‘SeedWiki’ site.
A similar problem, and possible solution, was encountered with images. With ‘SeedWiki’ it is possible to copy and paste images in to the wiki. However it was difficult to place the images in the required space within the text, as for example, when the ‘Center’ button is clicked on the ‘ActiveEditControl’, the entire page is then moved to the centre, which may not have been the desired effect. This will be discussed again later. Again this problem could be solved by using the HTML editor to ‘align’ the images in the appropriate place.
However, there was another problem with adding images that could not be solved by using this feature. Some of the images did not appear when the page was accessed, or they sometimes did and sometimes didn’t. No solution was found for this problem so the group was forced to use different images from the ones originally desired.
Another problem that applied to the ‘ActiveEditControl’ feature was that there were problems in formatting the page. For example the font or the size of the text sometimes changes automatically, without the user specifying for it to do so. When the appropriate text was highlighted to change to the required style it was not possible to do so all the time – however it did seem to function correctly sometimes. This caused the group many problems as sentences or paragraphs appeared in a different font from the rest of the text, which then took time to correctly format. Another problem was that if a section of the text needed to be centred, when the appropriate button was clicked, the whole page was centred. This was similar to a problem encountered with images, which has been mentioned previously.
Again possibly the HTML editor could have been used to set the text font and size through use of a Cascading Style Sheet, for example, but in the time available the group thought it better to get a feel for the ways ‘wikis’ function, without having to spend a long time thinking about technical details. These could be added later.
Collectively, we worked well together. Because we chose a topic of interest to all three of us, we put in more effort and time than we would have done had the topic been about something else. Music is part of everyday life and surrounds us in many different ways, from a person sitting on the bus listening to their CD Walkman to the birds chirping first thing in the morning. It was an easier topic to write about as the supply for knowledge and information is endless.
We found Wikis quite different from Weblogs and slightly easier, although we feel that we coped well with the assigned task and now feel comfortable in using this and various other types of software for similar activities. We completed our task successfully and created a Wiki with external links, images, and useful and topical information by using a variety of texts and formats. Should we have to complete this task again, we would not change the way in which the group went about things, as we worked as a whole and not three individuals, we assigned all the work fairly and collated all the work together well to produce the final written assessment. We knew at all times what was going on and how the progress of our Wiki was developing.
We were happy with our decision to use SeedWiki, as we found it very user friendly and easy to use, it has provided us with a good Wiki that we are all pleased with.
Overall the project was a success, through the planning, implementation and evaluating, we have worked well together and are all satisfied with the final outcome.