Wetpaint Wikis for Libraries

Wetpaint Wikis

Have you ever wanted to create a collaborative space online or simply a basic web site, but don’t think you have the technology skills to do so? Try Wetpaint (www.wetpaint.com), an extremely easy to set up, easy to use wiki program. Don’t know what a wiki is? Don’t worry! The word “wiki” is Hawaiian for “quick,” but it is also very easy! We’ve all seen the world’s largest wiki, Wikipedia, and understand it as a website that anyone can edit or create pages (encyclopedia entries). Encyclopedias are not the only things you can create with a Wiki- you can also create:

Wetpaint is one of the many web-based platforms you can use to create a wiki. Wetpaint Web based wiki allows you to:

  • Easily create and update pages
  • Choose from a variety of designs and add your own header image
  • Have a variety of permissions settings- possible to assign roles to each user/ creator (editor, writer, administrator, etc.)
  • Choose who has access to your page (open to the public or select people)
  • Use an easily navigable website design
  • Remove ads if your wiki is used for educational purposes

To set up a Wetpaint wiki, go to www.wetpaint.com and choose to create a free site. You will then be asked to name your site and choose the web address of the wiki. You can then choose the level of openness and collaboration of the site by choosing who can edit your site. Next you’ll be able to choose the design and look of your site. That’s all you have to do to get started! Once you start adding to your site, you’ll notice Wetpaint’s option to add widgets to the page. This allows you to easily add things like Youtube videos, an instant messaging chat box, RSS feeds, polls, pictures, audio, and much more. If you need more help setting up your Wetpaint wiki, check out these useful videos:
Wet Paint Wiki How To Part 1
WetPaint Wiki How To Part 2

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PollDaddy: a fun and easy way to engage students

On the small scale, PollDaddy can be used in the classroom to receive immediate feedback on student understanding. Changing what was once a pop quiz into something more along the lines of a game show.

On the large scale, when making plans for the library’s future, PollDaddy can be used to gather input from patrons. For example, a ten-question survey could provide invaluable information on what students need in a study space and look for when it’s time to take a break. Additionally, simple polls can be used on a continual basis. A poll on the library’s homepage could serve as an informal platform from which to ask users a new question every week. What hours are you most likely to be found in the library? What floor do you nap on? Would you bring your laptop to the library if…?

Click image to link to actual poll.

Click image to link to actual poll.

It’s useful and it’s easy. I was able to register a new account and create this poll in less than 15 minutes. It would have taken only five minutes if I had planned out my question and answers ahead of time.

It’s also flexible. You can choose from several different designs and question types or customize your polls / surveys using CSS. Once your question(s) and the answer options have been entered, PollDaddy generates code that can simply be pasted into your website(s). One poll / survey can be placed on multiple sites and the results entered at each location will be conveniently gathered on your PollDaddy account.

The free account offers unlimited polling and up to 100 survey responses per month for surveys with a maximum of 10 questions. It does not include analysis capabilities. PollDaddy Pro is available for $200 per year. It too offers unlimited polling, allows up to 1,000 survey responses for surveys with any number of questions, removes PollDaddy branding, and includes analysis capabilities such as customized reports, voter location, and removal of repeat votes from the same IP address.

Sign up for a free account . Try it out on your website, blog, social networking profile, etc. Useful for fun and for research, it may become your new favorite tool.