Wikidot

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Wikidot Inc.
Wikidot-logo.png
Type Private
Founded August 1, 2006
Headquarters Toruń, Poland
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Michał Frąckowiak
Key people Michał Frąckowiak (CEO and Founder, former COO)
Pieter Hintjens (former CEO)
Industry Internet
Services Wiki hosting
Social networking
Employees 4
Slogan(s) Publishing Network
Free open collaboration software
Website www.wikidot.com
www.wikidot.org
Alexa rank negative increase 3,721 (April 2014)[1]
Type of site Online website builder
Advertising Google AdSense
Registration Free, Required (to create a wiki)
Users over 1200000
Available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Australian English, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Launched August 1, 2006
Current status Active

Wikidot Inc. is a Polish wiki hosting corporation which owns, operates and supports the community of wiki-based web projects at Wikidot.com, a social networking service and wiki hosting service (or wiki farm), developed in Toruń, Poland. Wikidot.com was launched on August 1, 2006 and in 2009 it was the world's third-largest wiki farm,[2] with 570,000 users running 150,000 sites with 5.6 million pages of user-created content (as of September 24, 2010). Wikidot.com grows by about 900-1,000 new users each day. Wikidot.com roughly doubled in size during 2011.[3] Following their migration to Amazon Web Services in September 2012, Wikidot became a finalist and first prize winner in the AWS Global Start-Up Challenge of 2012 under the category of Consumer Applications.[4] Wikidot Inc. released Wikidot.org in January 2008, the official FOSS version of the Wikidot.com software project with an Ajax-based interface.[5] It is meant as a stable and free software for a single Wiki install or a Wiki farm on a GNU/Linux computer. The FOSS Wikidot.org software is licensed under the AGPL v3. There are Debian/Ubuntu (*.deb) packages for the free Wikidot.org software, which are considered experimental, as of October 2011, and may break existing Wikidot installations.[6] Wikidot Inc. is incorporated in Delaware, USA, Division of Corporations, file no. 4326793.

Company history[edit]

Wikidot.com is owned and operated by Wikidot Inc., incorporated in Delaware, USA in 2007 by Wikidot.com founder Michał Frąckowiak and a group of private investors. Wikdot.com was developed in Poland and was published as open source in January 2008. Wikidot Inc. derives revenue from opt-in advertising and services including support licenses. The company's operational offices are located in Toruń, Poland.[2]

The officers of the company were Pieter Hintjens (CEO) and Michał Frąckowiak, who is also a General Manager of Polish operating office. Pieter Hintjens is CEO of iMatix Corporation, past President of the FFII, and has been active in the free and open source software field since 1991. Michał Frąckowiak is a former astrophysicist, certified software developer and the architect and lead developer of the Wikidot.com project since 2006.[2] However, as of February 26, 2010, Pieter leaves the CEO position in Wikidot to continue his work in iMatix[7]

Wikidot has been consistently placed in the top 10,000 web sites by Alexa since the beginning of 2008, and is currently ranked in the top 4,000.[8]

From March 2008, Wikidot.com began offering pro account features to beta testers, and on December 17, 2008, Wikidot.com rolled out Pro accounts to all users.[9]

Starting with January 2011 Wikidot.com began offering multilingual model on an experimental wiki-basis, by inviting the world-wide community to translate most used commands, help-text and other literals from English to "every wished" language. After a week some languages like German, French and Serbian were translated 100% by the community, and Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Finnish, Italian are following now and growing in their completeness. This is now on a site basis and planned for the future is user-based translation so that whoever wants to build a wiki in a special language can do so, even in Klingon.

Software and features[edit]

Originally conceived as a pure wiki, the Wikidot engine today has become more than just a web application framework. It provides page templating, so that the appearance of pages can be changed in one place. It provides page processing (the ListPages module) so that users can create summaries, graphs, lists, and reports. It provides data forms, so that pages can be edited as structured data (and not as a wiki at all). Some of the applications that Wikidot users have recently built are: calendars, chatrooms, issue trackers, blogs, and even MediaWiki emulations.

Wikidot.com supports unlimited pages and users.[10] Users can apply SSL encryption, map their wiki to an existing domain (other than wikidot.com), customize privacy settings, assign roles, and interact in wiki-specific forums. A wiki can easily be enriched with content from Flickr, YouTube and other sites by embedding features.[11]

Wikidot.com uses a custom wiki engine that has been released as free software under the terms of the Affero General Public License.[12] The software is written in PHP and is notable for doing extensive caching to reduce database accesses. The Wikidot software runs Wikidot.com. Wikidot.org is one of a few FOSS wikifarm software, see Comparison of wiki farms, and a number of competing wikifarm services use it, such as Wikicomplete.info.[13]

On the 30th August 2012, Wikidot announced plans began migration from their traditional datacenter operated by SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. to Amazon.com's EC2. This was completed on the 4th September 2012.[14] Since then, load speeds have increased dramatically.[15] Static files like CSS Stylesheets, User Avatars and Javascript files are delivered through Amazon CloudFront and DNS services is provided by Amazon Route 53.[16] Since the 12th September, Wikidot also stores user file uploads directly on Amazon's S3 storage system.[17] Regular database backups are also made and stored on S3 to ensure data durability.[18]

Wikidot uses an open source modified Text_Wiki software (engine). Each site gets a subdomain on .wikidot.com (like mywiki.wikidot.com). Site owners can also map custom domains[10] (like mywiki.com – if previously registered by the wiki owner). There is also a list of subdomains registered by Wikidot for users, which provides an alternate wiki URL without requiring the user to buy a domain name beforehand.[19] One can optionally allow Wikidot to display ads on their wiki and get 80% of revenue.[10][20] Other possibilities are RSS import/export,[10] private RSS feeds for Users (notifications and watched items), RSS for page changes and forum, customizable themes which also can be styled by adjusting Cascading Style Sheets (CSS),[10] advanced forum for each Site, custom page hierarchies, powerful search engine, advanced page (full/section/append) edit locking, blocking users and IP addresses. Users can send each other personal messages. Wikidot uses an Ajax user-interface. There are no limits on site size. There are embedable widgets (such as YouTube, Google Video, Flickr, Meebo etc.)

Until December 17, 2008, Wikidot offered only a free service and, unlike other free wiki hosts, it had no advertising or premium service.[21] On December 17, 2008 Wikidot introduced premium accounts.[9] There are three types of premium accounts: Pro-Lite, Pro and Pro+. The difference is in price and quantity of pro features offered.[22][23]

Both free and pro accounts can have open, closed or private wikis. Open and Closed wikis are visible to everyone on the Internet, with Open wikis available for any registered Wikidot member to join, and Closed wikis having restricted membership rules. Private wikis are only visible to members and Wikidot users added to the site's extra access list.

The service supports advanced editing, tag clouds, a flexible permission system, custom themes, and the ability to generate revenue through Google AdSense [20] which are not obligatory for free sites.[10]

Wikidot also provides an Application Programming Interface (API) for third-party developers to interact and manipulate pages through the XML-RPC protocol. All paid users are automatically provided with two API keys (a read-only and a read-write key), however free users can also request for them via a request page on their Developers Wiki. External developers can then use these keys to read or write data through methods from 5 namespaces: categories, files, tags, pages and users.[24]

Features[edit]

  • Each site gets its own subdomain on wikidot.com
  • Flexible permission system suitable for both public and private wikis
  • Customizable themes to create a unique look and feel[20]
  • Numerous widgets available to embed in the wiki[20]
  • Generate revenue through different advertising programs including Google AdSense[20][25]
  • Extensive documentation, and an active community support forum

Advantages[edit]

Wikidot has a clean user interface that is easy to learn and use. For experienced wiki users, Wikidot is powerful and user friendly. Private wikis are a much appreciated feature: more than 40% of created sites are private.[26]

Criticisms[edit]

Wikidot has been criticised for being too complex for beginners. It does not have a WYSIWYG editor and the wiki syntax is incompatible with other wiki syntaxes. Storage space for free accounts is limited, and free sites still show text advertisements in some cases. Its permissions model is too simple for advanced users. Development of the product goes slowly and a long list of user feature requests is pending.[27] Also, the admin/owner has to decide after the creation of the wiki to which language it will switch the site. This model works fine on a site-basis but not yet on a user-basis.

Wikidot community[edit]

Wikidot expert users have worked together to build large parts of the service. Initially, this was a community site[28] (for supporting new users and discussing solutions), a snippets site[29] (for reusable pieces of code), and a multilingual handbook.[30] At present, there are German, English, Spanish, Italian, French, Turkish, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Chinese, Indonesian, Romanian and Portuguese Handbooks.

Today, the Wikidot user community also makes themes,[31] packages,[32] dashboards, roadmaps, site templates,[33] and reusable applications. In October 2009 Wikidot launched a competition for a new user-designed home page.[34] In many respects Wikidot.com can be considered an "open source service" as these reusable building blocks are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. New features can be requested using the Wishlist.[35]

Each user has karma, which is an indicator of that user's activity, engagement and experience. The highest karma level indicates that a user is experienced with the Wikidot syntax and is active in the community, and is considered to be a Wikidot Guru.[36]

Wikidot interface in other languages[edit]

From the very beginning, Wikidot interface was available in English and in Polish. At the beginning of 2011, Wikidot started experimental project "Translate Wikidot".[37] The project consists in translating Wikidot interface to other languages to make the service more approachable by non-English users, and it is done by Wikidot users on a volunteer basis.[38] The first languages with the finished translation were Serbian[39] French and German,[40] and the translators got one-year free Pro+ accounts as a reward for their efforts.[41] There are also Italian, Finnish, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc. The project is still ongoing so from time to time, as more features are offered, more text is added, so translators have to visit the Stats page from time to time to check if there is additional text to translate.[42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wikidot.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ a b c "About us". Wikidot. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Wikidot Stats Archive". Wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Wikidot wins First Prize at AWS Global Startup Challenge 2012!". Blog.wikidot.com. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Wikidot.org Home page". wikidot.org. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Wikidot Debian Ubuntu Packages". wikidot.org. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Big Cheese Moves". Blog.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Alexa statistics data for Wikidot". Alexa.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Michał Frąckowiak: Pro accounts and a few ideas". Michalfrackowiak.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Wikidot Features". Wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  11. ^ Internal Wikis – Wikidot.com at www.laptopmag.com Access date: October 11, 2009
  12. ^ "License". Wikidot.org. January 30, 2008. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  13. ^ Wikicomplete.info
  14. ^ "Wikidot moving 1,000 miles NE next week". Blog.wikidot.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  15. ^ "It should load much quicker. I think it's not the placebo effect, but we also feel that Wikidot is fast like hell now :)". Blog.wikidot.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  16. ^ After switching to Amazon Route 53 our DNS responses are served 3 times faster.
  17. ^ New: All users' files in Wikidot storage has been moved to Amazon S3
  18. ^ All the files are securely hosted on Amazon S3 and we only cache them locally. All the "missing" files are stored fine in our S3 bucket. We are trying to find out why the hell they are not being downloaded and served by our servers.
  19. ^ Wikify.me list of domain names
  20. ^ a b c d e "Wikidot review at About.com". Webtrends.about.com. September 29, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  21. ^ Dan Woods; Peter Thoeny (2007). Wiki for Dummies. Indiana: Willey Publishing. p. 101. ISBN 9780470043998. 
  22. ^ "Wikidot pricing". Wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  23. ^ Wikidot, crea wikis de forma sencilla y rápida March 25, 2009 desarrolloweb.com Access date: October 11, 2009
  24. ^ "API Methods". Wikidot Inc. August 19, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  25. ^ "More advertising options for pro. Free sites stay ad-supported". Blog.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  26. ^ Wikidot news:Unilimited members for private wikis, Feb, 28, 2008 Access date October 11, 2009
  27. ^ "Top user needs". Blog.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Wikidot Community site". Community.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Wikidot Snippets site". Snippets.wikidot.com. September 19, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Wikidot Handbook". Handbook.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Wikidot Themes site". Themes.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Wikidot Packages site". Packages.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Wikidot Iron Giant project". Irongiant.wikidot.com. October 21, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Get Wikidot! announcement". Blog.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Wikidot Wishlist". Feedback.wikidot.com. September 16, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Karma". Wikidot. July 7, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Wikidot Blog. On the top of Babel tower. Jan 7, 2011". Blog.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Translate Wikidot Site – The site where the tranaslations take place". Translate.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Translate Wikidot/Serbian Translation". Translate.wikidot.com. January 14, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  40. ^ "Wikidot Blog. Babel Tower grows, Jan 17, 2011". Blog.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Wikidot Blog: Wikidot translations week sum-up: Pro+ accounts given away! Jan 21, 2011". Blog.wikidot.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Translate Wikidot/Stats". Translate.wikidot.com. January 28, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 

External links[edit]