I’ve been playing around with wikis for quite a while, and I finally got around to installing one (that I’m happy with) on the Rain City Guide server. But before I tell you what you can do with the wiki, I should probably give some background…
What is a wiki?
In the simplest sense, a wiki is an editable webpage. Have you ever read something and thought “I know more than the person writing this!” Well, a wiki gives you this option as it is designed to allow readers to edit webpages.
[photopress:hanging_tree.jpg,thumb,alignright]The most popular wiki is, without a doubt, the Wikipedia. The Wikipedia is essentially an encyclopedia made for the web. It allows anyone to update any page. This might sound like a mess waiting to happen, but in practice, the concept has worked well because there are more good people than bad on the site and the results is an amazingly comprehensive listing of public knowledge. While running a wiki takes a certain amount of faith in the “goodness” of contributors, all public wikis tend to have really good “roll-back” features that allow an users to “undo” unhelpful comments and block IP addresses from spammers (including the wiki I installed!).
So what am I up to?
In my quest to create the best resource for real estate information in Seattle, I’ve created a wiki that will complement this blog. Whereas the blog best serves timely updates, the wiki will hopefully become a wonderful way to present information that can benefit from continuously improvements over time.
So what am a really up to?
I want to create THE real estate guide for Seattle. It will take time, but I think that if we keep plugging away, we can harness the knowledge of the Rain City Guide community to create a truly unique resource. As I really do plan for this to become “the” real estate guide for Seattle, I’ve named the site: the.raincityguide.com.
What are some uses for the wiki?
In my mind, the low hanging fruit is a real estate directory for Seattle. If you are a real estate professional in Seattle, feel free to add yourself to the real estate directory that I’ve created. Adding yourself to the directory is easy and just meant to get you comfortable with editing a wiki, while also qualifying yourself as a web-savvy real estate professional. 😉
In terms of the directory, I’ve added the following categories: Appraisers, Construction, Escrow, Handymen, Mortgage Brokers, Real Estate Photographers, Real Estate Agents, Real Estate Lawyers, Real Estate Technology, and Title Companies. But the beauty of a wiki is that if I missed your line of work (assuming it is within real estate), simply edit the page and add your profession. (By the way, I haven’t added separate webpages for any of the people in the directory yet, but if you’d like to add a page to expand on yourself and the services you provide, feel free to create a page by putting your name in brackets, as in [John Doe].
Another idea I have is almost definitely ahead-of-its-time, but could be interesting, is that anyone selling a home is free to create a webpage that describes their home on the.raincityguide.com. It will cost you nothing but time, and if you are creative enough, it might get you some interesting publicity.
Of course, I have even more ideas for how a wiki could be useful for better understanding real estate in Seattle, so don’t be too surprised if I reference wiki articles in future blog posts! With that said, I’m a huge fan of the “release early and often” philosophy (and this feature is definitely released early), so don’t expect too much from the wiki and you likely won’t be disappointed!
Also, if a wiki seems a little bit intimidating to you, feel free to play around in the sandbox. You can’t mess anything up in there, so edit away and I think you’ll quickly see how easy it is to create and edit webpages with a wiki.