Pretty much everyone by now has at least heard the word “wiki” because of Wikipedia, arguably the biggest success story of the web, but you may not know what a wiki is or how you could use one. The beauty of a wiki is that it is essentially a simple website that anyone can update. No confusing computer code, no need to bother a server admin. The other critical ingredient that makes a wiki so useful is revision history, which allows you to quickly revert changes and see who contributed what content.
Wikis are very flexible too. A wiki is typically a collection of any number of pages, where each page has its own revision history. Wikipedia uses pages to represent encyclopedia articles about various topics. Another prominent example is GitHub, which allows people to create a wiki associated with their code repository. These wikis are very popular and are commonly used as a way to document the software contained in the repo. The primary reason these are so popular and effective is that anyone with write permissions for the repo can edit wiki content and contribute to the documentation.
These are great wiki use cases, but they are all hosted on other servers and you don’t own them. They are not private and you cannot control them. What about all the great things you could do if you had your own personal wiki that supported your privacy?
- You could compile a recipe book by having family members add their favorite family recipes.
- You could coordinate a local neighborhood block party, letting neighbors write what dishes and beverages they plan to bring and what activities are planned.
- You could use it as a posting board for your family to keep track of things like what you need to buy at the grocery store and who has what chores to do that week.
- You could use your wiki as a blog, writing articles on each page chronologically.
Enter Hubzilla! If you haven’t heard of Hubzilla yet, it is an advanced platform for online communications and content publishing powered by a decentralized identity and permissions framework built using common webserver technology. Hubzilla is so full of features that we’ve decided to highlight some of what it can do for you in a series of articles like this one contributed by members of the Hubzilla community.
Hubzilla wikis are available out-of-the-box for any channel that enables them in their channel settings. You can create as many wikis as you like, with as many pages in each as you need. Hubzilla at its core is a decentralized publishing platform, so you can set permissions that allow only the people you want to have access to your wiki.
The magic of a Hubzilla wiki — the special sauce that sets it apart from the rest — is that you can give people read and/or write access even when they don’t have an account on your server. This is revolutionary web technology, folks. There is no central authority or single point of failure here. This is decentralized access control that works now. And it can work for you and your organizations today.