Wiki Introduction

From Beyond Social

This is an introduction to the wiki as a (social) platform, a historical piece of software and its position within the Social Practices. For a tutorial about how to get an account and practically work with the wiki, read the Manual.


For Beyond Social we use a specific type of wiki software, called Mediawiki. The Beyond Social wiki is the central work- and publishing space for Beyond Social. By using the wiki as a backend (working) and a frontend (publishing) at the same time, it brings the act of reading & writing together. As Beyond Social is a project that aims to create a discourse for social practices, we hope that the wiki can serve as a tool to create and document the developments, reformulations and discussions of student projects, reflections and external initiatives.

MediaWiki software

Mediawiki is a collaborative publishing platform. It is mostly known for its use on Wikipedia, but the software is also used for many more projects. Mediawiki software is maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wiki Wiki Web

The first wiki was WikiWikiWeb, launched in 1995 by Ward Cunningham.

"You're browsing a database with a program called Wiki Wiki Web. And the program has an attitude. The program wants everyone to be an author. So, the program slants in favor of authors at some inconvenience to readers."

→ Further reading: History of Mediawiki by Yaron Koren

Free Software

Mediawiki is free software. This means that it is published with the following four freedoms, which gives everyone the freedom to ...

  • run
  • study
  • share
  • modify

... the software. The source code is open, (often) well documented and published under a free and open license, as an alternative for the everlasting strength of copyright.

Which in the basis is meant to form decentralized and non-proprietory projects.

A preference that influences many more design choices that are made to create software. In Mediawiki software, there is not one editor, not one login to the system, not even one writing style.

Other projects that use Mediawiki software:

Mediawiki & Beyond Social

The choice for Mediawiki software is to make a shared collection of references, documentation of events and student projects. The shared aspect was crucial for me to choose for the software. Mediawiki software is written and made to create and maintain a community driven resource.

As everything that is uploaded to the wiki is hosted on the same server, it is also a way to create an archive for a community of Social Art & Design.

What does a wiki enable?

  • Everyone (with an account) can create a page
  • Stimulates to write, reading & writing in the same interface
    • Quick articles that are not finished (as invitation to write) - for example
    • Red links (as invitation to write) - for example
    • Talk Pages, as a 'backside' of an article to discuss ... - for example
  • Saves editing history - for example, which is both
    • a layer of 'security' to not loose editing work
    • possibility of inspection of how a page came about
  • Include multiple voices (instead of one editing voice)

What does it not enable?

Design questions

  • How can we experiment with those elements in the publishing proces?
  • How can we include the sociality layers that the software produces as a type of content?
  • How does it change the way of writing?
    • Working on somebody else's article
    • Writing quick and short articles as a way to collect and share references?


Create Account

  • real name or pseudonym
  • sign the Privacy Statement

Make User Page

Make project page

Add project page to the WdKA Graduation Show 2018 event