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I have been arguing for several hours with two people who claim that "Wiki is their life." The three of us are members on a large site which has, in more recent years, acquired for itself a Wiki.

Fine, okay, it's not hurting anyone. The issue arises, however, when I decide that we should start up a Newspaper for the site which would be written by the members for the members. I suggest that we use a Wiki for organizational purposes - perhaps to keep track of dates or articles or something of the sort.

The two "Wikiers" suggest that we use the Wiki to post the actual paper on. This is a terrible idea. We have been arguing in circles for hours and they will not back down. They insist on trying to convince me that it is a good idea, but it's not. For one, I'm looking at this from a design point of view and they are not going to convince a designer that this is a good idea. It's just not going to happen. I am also looking at this from a more "personable" point of view and how it relates to the reader.

When I asked why they were pushing the Wikis so hard, their response was "Because it's our specialty." They fail to take into account how this will affect other people. The easiest way for the project to fail is to make it difficult for members to participate in. They are endorsing their idea only because it is what they feel most comfortable doing rather than considering the effects that it will have on those who will actually be writing the articles.

Here is why the idea sucks:

Design point of view:

- Wiki pages are generally unattractive. It is incredibly difficult to make one look good.

- Wiki pages are unoriginal. They all look the same. A color scheme can not help the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of pages on the internet that look EXACTLY LIKE THAT. Using a Wiki page will make the paper look boring and stock rather than giving it the real "personal" feel that we want.

- There is too much going on. Wiki pages by default have links everywhere that lead to pages that aren't at all relevant to the subject. Doing so creates confusion and competes with the actual articles, forcing the user's eye to travel away from the writing.

"Personable" point of view:

- The Wiki utilizes coding that is unique to Wiki and is, therefore, not very user friendly. The Newspaper should be something that is easy for everyone to use. The writers should be able to write their articles and send it in. They shouldn't have to bother with learning how to do the markup just so they can write something. Doing so will push them away from the idea of writing in the first place.

- Wikis are editable by anyone. This speaks for itself.

- There is too much of a work-around if we have one person do the editing. Assuming that the person can't do the markup on their own, they will have to send it to someone else. Relying on one person for this is terrible as things will inevitably happen and things will go wrong. Using a form of coding that everyone knows - BBC code - will prevent this issue.




I've finally finished arguing with them only after having announced that they were wasting my time. They tried to convince me that I was wrong and that I had only run because I didn't want to admit that I was wrong, but I know I'm right.
 
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