connec+ipedia is public! I’m happy to announce that a project I have worked on for the last 18 months and that others have worked for even longer is now ready for your eyes and minds:
“What if there was a place where we could all exchange what we learn as we go about our daily business? What if nonprofits could see the data and information that foundations use in their due diligence process? What if organizations and people could easily determine which foundations’ interests match their project goals? What if foundations could quickly see what groups are working on an issue they are investigating? And so on…
Well, we are building such a place. A place where people and organizations can connect about subjects and places. A place called connectipedia…”
connec+ipedia is, in my opinion, an awesome new tool that will change the way many people think of wikis.
Reason #1 – The Wiki Way
It is a wiki, yes. But it is a wiki that has database capabilities and functions in a more complete definition of the wiki way. What’s the wiki way? Well, as Ward Cunningham (the man who invented wikis and who spoke at our public launch event on Tuesday) explains, what makes wikis really different is that they incorporate what isn’t yet created. You can make links to topics that don’t exist. A link to something that doesn’t exist? Yes. Exactly. A way to create a placeholder and a reminder that there is more needed here or this item is important but not fleshed out yet. By clicking on that link, you are redirected to create that page. When you incorporate database functionality into a wiki, the opportunity to further this idea is even greater.
Reason #2 – Nonlinear
I have seen many examples of wikis that try to be very linear. What do I mean by this? Well, they want to create a wiki that is very structured (traditional) and appears like a standard website, as far as navigation tabs, site map, layout, etc. connec+ipedia is nonlinear. It has content divided by People, Places and Things. But, content also exists in the intersection of these categories. So you can go to a card for after school programs, but you could also go find after school programs + Portland, OR, and so on.
Reason #3 – Community
Wikis are inherently a community of users (regardless of size). connec+ipedia takes this to a new level. It exists to connect you to information, not store the information. So, with so many links to organizations and projects, the community creates a pull for those who are linked to but not using the tool to engage, at least so far to make sure their information is correct! Many nonprofits and foundations (public and private) from around the region are already listed in connec+ipedia. It has the unique capacity for connecting topic areas with funders who support them and organizations doing the work. It is encouraging to the community grow to use the site in this way and ensure that information is correct – keeping people connected!