I've been thinking about wikis a lot lately. I've been plotting various wiki projects for Skillset around job profiles to establish the "official" and the "actual" stories about what people really do for a living. The new Wikimono app on Facebook looks very interesting. And I had a good chat with Paul Youlten yesterday about his new WikiLaLa project for film and TV. Maybe there's something in the water at the moment. I like the concept of wikis. Any software that assumes everybody can be trusted seems to be aiming in the right direction. But they can be tricky to get right. I created a wiki for my FreeSchool project, but I didn't really manage to create the communal area that I was looking for. We've used them for School of Everything too, but the biggest problem there was that on any important issue, the debate would progress offline and the wiki would often end up being inaccurate. They also don't handle decision-making terribly well. Major exceptions like Wikipedia aside, I think wikis work best when they're contained within a community. If there's a pre-existing team working on a project, a wiki can be a great repository of information; a space for recording progress and keeping notes. Wikimono may work well too, by providing wikis for events, groups, communities that create manageable chunks of collaboration. Let's see how it takes off.
For more fluid activities though, other paradigms may be needed. There are "blikis" - blogs as the front-ends for wikis - which neatly introduces a time dimension into the wiki information to give it some context. MediaWiki can often be more useful for its comments engine than the wiki itself. I'm also meeting the guy at if:book who developed the CommentPress engine on Wednesday, so I'll keep you posted on that too. The search continues.