After doing some general research on wikis, I then started doing more in depth research about specific wiki hosting sites where I could have my wiki hosted. First, I compiled a list of my requirments:
- I want a service that will host a wiki. I do not have the capabilities to use software that I download and install on a server.
- I want to be able to create specific accounts for classmates to use. I do not want the general public to be able to edit the pages that I create. I need 20 user accounts. I don't mind that the wiki be a public space, I simply want to control who can edit it.
- I want the ability to create private pages.
- I want the solution to be low to no cost.
- I would like a system that seems easy to use in order to encourage participation among my classmates.
- I want an advertisement free wiki.
With these needs in mind, I looked at several different wiki hosting services - including Socialtext, Wikispaces, Jotspot, Seed Wiki, Atlassian and EditMe.
- Socialtext - This software is a collaborative tool aimed at businesses. There is 30 day trial that is free. However, 30 days is not enough. An account costs $30.00 per month - a price that is too steep for a class project. It has some nice features like being able to email new pages to the wiki. This service would not be appropriate for a class project.
- Wikispaces - This wiki farm seems to aimed at the general public. It is a free service, but has advertisements on the pages. There is no way to set up page security or create individual accounts. This would not meet my needs.
- Jotspot - This service has a free hosting service. However, there can only be 5 named users and 20 pages. I'm not sure the 20 pages would be a problem, but 5 users isn't enough to create accounts for the entire class. The free package does allow the administrator to create public and/or private pages. The editor is WYSIWYG. For $9.00 a month, one can have 20 users and 250 pages. This option would suffice for the project. Jotspot is a possibility.
- Seed Wiki - This service has free wiki hosting service. One can invite as many members as needed. However, no wiki can be restricted to members nor can member collaboration be tracked. This service has a traditional wiki look and feel with categories. For $9.95 a month, one can password any wikis for private use. However, in order to track user participation, one has to buy the $19.99 a month package. This is another good possibility for my wiki project.
- Atlassian - This wiki farm has options aimed at peronsal wikis. However, to use this software, one downloads it and installs the program on a local computer. Additionally, access is only for two registered users. This is not really appropriate for my project.
- Editme - This wiki farm is a hosted service. There is no free service. For $4.95 a month, one gets 25MB of storage (more than enough), as many users as needed, 10 days of backup and tracking of user changes. There are some other nice features - a variety of css templates, rss feeds, any person can comments on pages. I like the look and feel of this system - although it doens't necessarily look like traditional wikis.
I very quickly decided upon Editme for my wiki. I figured $4.95 was a small price to pay for the features that I wanted. The setup procedure was quite painless - and within a few seconds I had my very own wiki.