What is a wiki?
Derived from the Hawaiian word for “fast, quick,” the web-term wiki names an electronic site for collaborative activities. In its most open form, it is a compendium to which anyone can contribute by adding or editing existing materials, subject to approval (re-editing) by the community of contributors. Wikipedia is perhaps the best-known example.
And how about the Pathways Project wiki?
The Pathways Project wiki is evolving along a trajectory toward an open-access facility. In its beginning stages, all of the contents were created by one person, John Miles Foley, but even from the very first entry (or node) onward the network has been open to and surfable by anyone who wished to access it. As the wiki develops, it will welcome input from others in the Contributions section, as well as track the surfing of visitors through its web of nodes (with their permission, of course). Both the new content and the trails that visitors blaze will become part of the resource in order to foster growth through distributed authorship.
This wiki will thus go well beyond Oral Tradition and the Internet: Pathways of the Mind, the book-based component of the Pathways Project, in two ways. First, even before the book is published, the electronic component has used the strategies of the eAgora to add depth, dimension, and interactivity to the experience of exploring its core topic: the homology between oral tradition and Internet technology. Second, the wiki will continue to evolve—in ways that naturally cannot be foreseen—after publication of the brick-and-mortar component; in other words, it will retain the advantage of remaining forever under construction.