Wetpaint Wikis in Plain English

The folks at Common Craft have been creating videos for businesses. Their latest is for Wetpaint wikis, a site I’ve been exploring for our courses as a potential alternative for Wikispaces. This video is less about the technology and more about why someone would create a wiki: to share something they’re passionate about. Although it isn’t directly related to education, I think there is still some value in having people view this video to “get” the concept. Wetpaint was very easy to set up, and they do have templates for class wikis that could be useful in some situations.

One gem from the video: They compared a wiki to a potluck, where everyone brings something special to the table.

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4 thoughts on “Wetpaint Wikis in Plain English

  1. The setup is pretty similar; they basically do the same thing. There are a few differences though:

    Wetpaint asks about design templates in the initial setup, so the wiki looks nice from the start. There’s also many more choices for templates at Wetpaint.

    In addition to the design templates (basically skins), there are content templates. I can see that they would be useful in some situations, but I haven’t played with them enough to determine if they’ll work for our assignments.

    Tables seemed easier to me in Wetpaint than in Wikispaces. I hate working with tables in wikispaces.

    Wetpaint has better documentation, including an orientation process for new users.

    Comments show up at the bottom of the page instead of on a separate tab. In terms of using wikis as a gallery for assignments and providing peer feedback, I wonder if this might be more intuitive than moving to another tab. I think the discussion tab in wikispaces can be easy to miss.

    Wetpaint doesn’t have the ability to go in “behind the scenes” and edit the code like Wikispaces does. If the WYSIWYG formatting doesn’t work the way you want, there’s no way to fix it. That hasn’t been a problem yet, and maybe students don’t need that advanced feature.

    I know Natalie’s not really happy with the editing features in wikispaces; she’s been looking at PBWiki. Personally, I think Wetpaint may be easier than either PBwiki or wikispaces.

  2. Are we looking at Wetpaint for our own wiki or just for student use? Both?

    I like being able to code the formatting but it isn’t a big issue. And Wikispaces is horrible for editing, I agree with Natalie on that point.

    If we do switch over, is there an easy way to take all our info from Wikispaces and dump it into Wetpaint?

    And thanks for the explanation. The video was interesting (loved the presentation!) but it told me pretty much the same thing that Wikispaces does. Having those differences defined is very helpful!

  3. Right now I’m thinking about using Wetpaint for the my current two courses. You can export from wikispaces into html (that’s what I do for the backups), but I haven’t looked at anything for importing into Wetpaint. I’ve really only been looking at it for the courses and not for our wiki, although it might be possible to do our wiki too.

    The video doesn’t really show much about specific features, you’re right; that wasn’t the focus. It’s another way to think about the “why” for a wiki though, besides their previous video, and it might help people understand why you’d use one.

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