The Internet has progressed and has been adapted to conform to the needs of the user. Web 2.0 and user generated content is where the Internet is currently operating. There are still domains that are dominated by its creator and doesn’t allow for outside content. However wikis allow for collaboration on the web. A wiki is a website that allows for user generated content. They also allow for communal and collaborative writing on the web, where a user can contribute whatever information they want. A wiki also lets you incorporate hypertext linking various websites to the central wiki site, which allows for the expansion of a central idea. Although some wikis like Wikipedia are open forums on the web, others are private. The private wikis are most commonly provided by corporations and can only be edited and updated by that specific enterprise. Various wiki sites allow for an increase in user generated content and connectivity between users on the Internet. It is because of the interconnectivity of the Internet through wikis that creates a blob of information is a web that can be difficult to navigate.
Wikipedia the worlds leading wiki site, the tag line The Free Encyclopedia. When in the Wikipedia site there are millions of topics to pick from. Whatever a person is researching can be found in some part on Wikipedia. For example, if someone were to look up writing on Wikipedia they would find a page with the history, definition, and the references used to help build that page, further reading and external links. Currently another wiki site is being launched by Wikipedia called Wikiquote which, is a quotation repository the “project is to produce collaboratively a vast reference of quotations from prominent people, books, films and proverbs, and to give details about them with appropriate attribution” (Wikipedia.com).
The Internet is littered with various wikis, from personal wiki space to a search engine that searches specific wikis from Wikipedia to personal and encyclopedia wikis. Creating your own wiki can allow you to develop a space that is of personal interest to the creator. From there you can collaborate with other wikis, and not just wikis other information on the Internet that is pertinent to what you are discussing.
User generated interconnectivity on the Internet through wikis is really an art form of its own. “The computer could textualize all the arts: that is, it could incorporate sound and images into hypertext as easily as words” (Bolter, 184). Which, is what wiki’s have the ability to do, they have the ability to tie various medias together. Hypertext and links link text, visuals, and sounds together to elaborate a specific point, argument, or topic together.
The way in which a wiki works is that all wikis have an edit button that allows the user to edit the page on the wiki site. Once the user clicks edit the page becomes like a word document, this is where the user can edit the text. Once finished editing the text the user clicks save and the document turns back into a web page. From here the user can also edit to attach links within the wiki page. The links connect different sites and wiki sites together.
It seems as though the Internet is becoming one mass space for information. The ‘information highway’ as it has been referred to. However, it is no longer just straight paths through the Internet to straightforward information. There are now links to pages, and pages linked to photos and videos. There is no longer very many straightforward sites that just have information listed. The information runs through different pathways that allow the read/user to navigate through a web of information. The links have the ability to lead the reader to sites that are not pertinent to their search.
A book titles Hot Text by Jonathan Price and Lisa Price is a book on writing for the online reader. They decipher the reader and the writer for the online world. What they say in chapter 7 of their book entitled Cook Up Hot Links tells the writer to create links within their writing, but only links that will emphasize a specific point that they are trying to elaborate. It is difficult to decipher the useful links form the ones that will in no way enhance the understanding of the topic that is being presented. The links do increase the connectivity through the Internet from site to site, but if the link does not enhance the point that it is not worth it to put a link it. This is where it is hard to navigate through some wikis. Wikipedia for example will highlight words as links to take the reader from one site within the Wikipedia domain to another. The only disadvantage of this is that it may be a single word and not the entire idea that is being linked to another site.