Category Archives: Wiki

Thing 21: Wiki on a stick

Many wikis are big. Wikipedia is enormous. The library has two Wikis: the library wiki, which runs on Mediawiki, the same software as Wikipedia, and the E-resource Wiki, which runs on Semantic Mediawiki, which allows you to set up forms to simplify entry and to query the data like a database. All of these need a server to run on.

You can also get tiny wikis: wikis meant for personal use or sharing with a small group, and which don’t need a server. They are sometimes called ‘wiki on a stick’, because you can carry one on a USB stick. Some people use them for simple note taking, some for presentations, some for collaborative work.

The best known one is TiddlyWiki.  It is easy to use, but takes a little setting up – recent browsers (especially Firefox) have problems allowing it to save until you configure them.  If you set one up on your Y drive you will be able to use it from your work computer too, but if using Internet Explorer you will need to make some changes to the security settings.

First, go into ‘Tools’ in the Explorer menu, select ‘Internet Options’,  then ‘Security’, then ‘Local Intranet’, and pull the slider bar down to ‘low’. Click ‘Apply’, then restart Explorer.

Next go to the TiddlyWiki site and download TiddlyWiki, using ‘Save As’ to put it on the Y drive. When its there, right click on the  zip file and select ‘Extract All’. Finally right click on the file called empty.html, select ‘Properties’, and set ‘Unblock’ followed by ‘Apply’.

That’s it. The wiki is the html file called empty.html. You can rename it if you like, copy it around, email it, or save it on other drives. To run it double click on it and your browser will open to show it.

TiddlyWiki works on small chunks called ‘tiddlers’, which can be anything from a sentence to a page long. Writing in a tiddler is very similar to writing in Mediawiki: mostly plain text, with links in double square brackets. TiddlyWiki comes with some built-in tiddlers (called ‘shadow tiddlers’ ) which control the look of the page: when you first start you are invited to edit these, and so change what you see when TiddlyWiki starts.

Suggestion: change the title, change or remove the subtitle, add a new tiddler called ‘Home’, and hide the StartingPage so you just see your new Home tiddler when you open the wiki.

If you liked TiddlyWiki, there are a lot of variations of it for different purposes, such as managing TODO lists or organizing notes for novels. has a list.


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Thing 22: Library Wiki

Following on from the information on Wikis which was covered under Thing 21, Thing 22 is the RHUL Library staff wiki.  For many of you this is not something new, however it is always great to revisit it, particularly because the Library wiki gives you an opportunity to use wiki technology during the course of your day-to-day work.

We have created a new Library Staff Who’s Who page on the wiki and for the Library wiki Thing we would like you to create your own entry on the page.  Here are the instructions on how to add your info.

1. Visit the wiki and select the Library Staff Who’s Who page (this is on the homepage in the Essential Information section).  You will need to login to do this.  You should use your computer centre user name and password to login.

2. Select the Edit button in the top right hand corner of the page to edit the page.

3. Find the point in the page where your details should appear, going alphabetically by surname.

4.  Add your name, and then make your name into a Level 2 Headline.  You can do this by selecting the text and then selecting the level 2 headline button (circled in blue below)

Capture - headline text

5. Add your job title and phone extension

6. Add a picture of you.  This is a bit more tricky, to do this you need to follow these 2 steps:

– Firstly upload a file.  There are instructions on how to do this here

– Secondly put a link to the file on the wiki page.  To do this you add the following code: [[File:AmyW.JPG‎]] replacing the text in red with the EXACT name of your file.

7. Now maybe add a bit of text about your role, what you do and any special projects you are working on.

8. Finally remember to save the page by clicking on the Save page button.

While you are here maybe take time to look at the content of the wiki that relates to your area of work, and ensure that it is up to date.  Wikis become more useful the more people use them, adding further information and ensuring the content is current.

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