/Will 2006 be the year of the wikis?

Will 2006 be the year of the wikis?

Last Tuesday I was asked to make the forecast for the year 2006 in the conference about social software organized by Juan Carlos González from eDonostia. I said that Microsiervos will beat Barrapunto (if the first one keeps growing like it is doing now, it will be the first Spanish blog by next September); and together with that I made up my mind in favour of the wikis, a quite new tool with loads of potential.Luistxo Fernández (CodeSyntax) -I was sharing the table with him and Txema Garitano (Hispavista)- agreed, so my forecast may be right for the first time ;-). To say the truth, wikis are very simple, cheap, flexible, and, what’s more, they’ve got a model of success: the Wikipedia.This is an experiment I?ve already done to two people: You give a normal user a wiki and really powerful management tools The first tool is installed in half an hour and it only requires 30 minutes of learning. The second one needs hours, even days, to install it and learn how to use it.At the beginning, the user prefers project management tools, because they?ve got more applications and because they are like a BMW when it comes to cars. After one month, you notice how little by little they move to the wiki, i.e. a Volkswagen Polo; it is less powerful but much simpler. Actually, it is so easy to use that I wonder how we have created things on the Internet without such a tool.In Alianzo, we use wikis both for our intranet and for the intranet of a couple of associations and businesses. We use them for anything that requires a bit of order and organisation. We will soon launch a curious application of the wikis for quite an important organisation (I?ll explain it another day).And here we have the results of our preaching: my friend Mentxu Ramilo has become a fan of the wikis and she?s using them to prepare an amazing conference in Vitoria. Miguel García, from San Sebastian -unfortunately, I didn?t get to know him in eDonostia- has a Wiki cultural Guide, which is like Lanetro, but much closer to us.The other day I explained in this blog all the opportunities that wikis offer to education; and another time I mentionedsome other applications. Today I?ve discovered an even more exciting one: Wiki-shops. They have been launched by Amazon, and they just consist in letting the users speak, freely, about the products for sale.In Customer Evangelists this phenomenon is known as “civil marketing“; they include it in the revolution known as Web 2.0. Steve Rubel calls it the “wikipedification” of the Internet. Putting all the nouns aside, I think it is quite clear that the wiki is to the Network what paper was to writing. Scrolls were smart, but they were not available for everybody.