Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My talk with the Parker Kiwanis went OK. They are going to consider using the Franklin Circle format once a month for their meetings, and a teacher in the group is interested in starting a Franklin Circle for teachers.

I found this article about Wikis online this morning. Makes me wonder if a should start a Wiki for Franklin Circles. Or maybe a wiki for self-directed learners, link to, other ways that adults gather to learn from each other; include service clubs that are using the Franklin Circle format.

Here's the article:

Forbes Online
Entrepreneurs, Start Your Wikis
Tom Taulli 08.31.06, 6:00 AM ET

In five years, Wikipedia has bloomed into the largest online encyclopedia. Its simple but powerful concept--allow everyone to write and edit the content (under the auspices of some devoted administrators)--has compelled more than 48,000 current contributors to bang out 3.8 million articles in 100 languages. By its own estimates, the site now captures roughly 4% of the daily traffic on the Internet.

But there's more to Wikipedia than skipping a trip to the library. The site's underlying group-think principal can be applied to manage and build businesses more effectively.

Don't feel like shelling out thousands of dollars for complex project-management software from Microsoft? You can set up an easy-to-use "wiki" for far less. Want to boost your page rank on big search engines like Google and Yahoo!? A wiki works well. And unlike blogs and discussion boards, which unfold in relentlessly chronological order, wikis group related information into defined buckets that can be searched and edited quickly and easily. (Hence the term wiki--coined a decade ago by programmer Howard Cunningham--which means "hurry quick" in Hawaiian).

Some wiki programs, like, are gratis; others are not. The free, open source versions are a bit trickier to use and still lack common editing capabilities. More robust commercial versions--such as, MindTouch and Near-Time--range from $5 to $70 a month. All you need is a browser and an Internet connection.

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