Source: Muppet Wiki
For the Making Media workshop I am doing next, I was in search of examples of how wikis might play a role in "Filmmaking 2.0" (as coined by Arin Crumley and Susan Buice of Four-Eyed Monsters fame and chronicled by Steve Garfield). Interesting, Four-Eyed Monsters, the poster child for social media and filmmaking, does not appear to have a wiki. Maybe I missed it or perhaps there is a good reason why.
I found the Wikipedia entry for Ken Burns. That's a start ..
That's why I so happy to discover that my colleague, Daniela Faris, at Icommons has written a blog post profiling ten fascinating wiki communities hosted by Mediawiki software. Her analysis of the communities focuses on how these communities have collected useful reference material and resources, people who have used wiki software in an innovative way, and communities who have been motivated to contribute on niche topics and popular cultures. As she notes, "There’s the wiki weird and the wiki wonderful ..."
One of my favorite examples was the Muppet Wiki Here's what Daniela had to say:
Established on 5 December 2005, Muppet wiki is a collaborative site about the Muppets and their creator, Jim Henson. With just over 14 000 articles collected to date, the Muppets seem to have a host of loyal supporters who are ready to contribute information about the ‘world according to the Muppets’.
For example, I was interested in the Muppet take on ‘the president of the United States’. The entry outlines the involvement of Muppets in the race for the presidency and other politicking, and lists the presidents, presidential candidates and first ladies who have worked closely with the Muppets. According to the entry, “At least one Muppet has apparently succeeded in reaching the office, [however]. A Whatnot appeared as President in Muppets Tonight episode 202, undergoing therapy with Meepzorp in the Independence Day spoof “Co-dependents Day: CD4.”
Whether you’re of the Muppet generation or not, this site can be poured over for hours, so set some time aside. Content is available under a GNU Free Documentation licence
Of course online communities don't magically happen. So, in thinking of the practical application, one would need to study the patterns of wiki growth and development as well as the challenges. Wiki Patterns is a good resource for this information.