A Wiki History


It’s another Wiki Wednesday here at the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative! We’re celebrating twenty years of wiki technology by developing a wiki, an online collection of content about digital rhetoric, computers and writing/composition, digital humanities, and related fields. We invite you to become a DRC Wiki Editor and to become a Friend of the DRC Wiki. Help us build a resource for students and scholars–and yourself!

Today, we’re looking into the history of wikis by taking a look at the most famous wiki, Wikipedia.

Five Wiki Facts about Wikis

1. Ward Cunningham, the creator of the first wiki software, named his software the Hawaiian word for fast or quick: “wiki.”
2. The biggest wiki in the world, Wikipedia, is thirteen years old, having launched in January 2001.
3. Wikipedia is one of the top ten popular websites in the world.
4. The vast majority of Wikipedians (Wikipedia editors) contributing to this most popular website are volunteers.
5. The worldwide Wikipedia Editor Survey 2011 of all the Wikipedias found that 91% of Wikipedia editors are male. More information about the gender gap can be found here.

We’ll see you next week for another Wiki Wednesday!


  • Brenta Blevins

    A Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative fellow in 2013-14 and 2014-15, Brenta Blevins is an Assistant Professor of Writing Studies and Digital Studies at the University of Mary Washington. She completed her PhD in digital rhetoric and composition at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where her dissertation examined the rhetoric and literacy of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. She previously worked in the software development industry. Her current research interests include Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality, digital literacy and digital pedagogy, and multiliteracy/multimodality.

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