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Wiki MatrixIt’s true, setting up your own wiki can be torturous to configure and customize. But don’t let their apparent complexity get the better of you. Several sites can help you choose a wiki solution to match your (un)willingness to get your hands dirty with code. To sort through the mess, here are my favorite wiki comparison sites:

  • How to Start a Wiki
    A must-read for anyone starting their own wiki. Besides being straightforward, it has an extensive list of links to other wiki resources.

  • Wikimatrix
    A wiki selection tool on steroids. It has wizards, feature-filters, and detailed side-by-side-comparisons to help identify the right wiki engine for the job. The matrix overviews are quite comprehensive though somewhat overwhelming. Thankfully, you can hide items. Wikimatrix also has short descriptions for most wiki engines as well as screenshots, discussions, statistics, and related wikis. The main downside of Wikimatrix is its speed when comparing a lot of wiki engines. I also wish it had tutorials, editorial reviews, and ratings.

  • [Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparisonofwiki_software/ “Wikipedia)
    Provides a basic comparison chart of the most common wiki engines, technologies, features, licensing, and intended users. Being a wiki itself, it can be extended by you and other users. However, I found the current presentation overwhelming and wished for the ability to sort and filter. The Wikipedia Entry is more suitable as a reference guide than a wiki shopping tool.

  • [Top Ten Wiki Engines](http://c2.com/cgi-bin/wiki?TopTenWikiEngines”Top Ten Wiki Engines)
    As the name suggests, this site gives an overview of the most popular wiki engines. While popular doesn’t always equal good or easy-to-use, this list gives an indication of which wiki engines will have a large support framework.

With these tools in hand, finding and setting up your wiki should be wikiwiki (quick) and easy.

5 Comments

  • Angela

    gravatarOct 20, 2006
    4:29 am

    I’ve made a lens on Squidoo which has some more links, though the four you give are a good starting point. See http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-start-a-wiki/

  • Philip Foeckler

    gravatarOct 25, 2006
    11:47 am

    thanks for your comments and the link to your site. some good references there as well. i’d be interested to hear what system you’ve ended choosing and how that is going.

  • Mike Brown

    gravatarNov 10, 2006
    1:25 pm

    What I’d like is guidance on what actually to do with the wiki once I have it. With a blog, for example, you know instantly that it archives chronologically, sometimes by category tags, or you can browse via post titles.

    But wikis are different beasts, and I’ve not seen a standard “how to organize this wiki” scheme anywhere. I have a PBWiki which is fun to use, but it’s very easy to forget that you’ve created pages, what they’re named, etc.

  • Philip

    gravatarNov 24, 2006
    9:21 am

    I wonder if there are some good wiki guides listed on wikipedia; there also are quite a few books on wikis available which might provide some content-strategies.

    In the end it really depends on what you intend to use the wiki for, since they are so flexible; there certainly are ways to view wiki content in a chronological blog-like manner. However unlike a blog entry the wiki entry can not only be commented or tagged but also modified and cross-linked once created.

    This malleable and extensible aspect is what I find particularly intriguing about wikis, since it counters the ephemeral nature of blogs.

  • Squidoo Dummy

    gravatarSep 3, 2007
    9:29 pm

    Squidoo also come out a new feature call who is? which will search for person information based on Wikipedia contents.