What is a wiki?

March 19, 2009
You may have heard of them, but have you ever contributed to one? FoodProcessing.com shows you how.

FoodProcessing.com recently added an Ingredient Wiki to our online community. The wiki allows the members of the FoodProcessing.com community -- You -- to contribute to the content FoodProcessing.com provides to our website users.

We realize, however, that what a wiki is and how to use it may be a little confusing to some community members so we've put together this handy guide to walk you through the process.

First of all, what is a wiki?

A wiki is a collaborative Web site that enables users to add, delete or edit content in a simple, straightforward manner. Unlike normal Web pages, which are built using HTML code, most wikis use a simplified markup language also known as "wikitext." This markup language can vary from wiki to wiki and can sometimes even be integrated with HTML coding.

What is it I can do on the wiki?

You can edit a wiki page as much as you want, and subsequent viewers can then reedit your contribution. Wikis also allow you to create pages that don't yet exist in a similar, simplified manner. Typically, users must create an account to be able to access the wiki’s material, but this too depends on the type of wiki.

How do I edit a wiki page?

After you've created a FoodProcessing.com community account and have logged in, you'll find that each page on our wiki has an edit link that will bring you to a simple editing screen. Text can be typed directly into the editing window or copied and pasted from a text document. When you have finished making your changes, click the submit button and your changes will be visible instantly.

Some wikis have a toolbar with various commands, including bold, italicize, underline, hyperlink, etc. If you are unfamiliar with the type of wikitext that a particular Web site is using, try looking at a different wiki page on the same Web site to see how that page was constructed.

Are you ready to contribute to the FoodProcessing.com Ingredient Wiki?

For more information on Food Processing’s Ingredients Wiki, watch the Food Processing Howcast Series: How to Contribute to the Ingredient Wiki.