Home Thanks Ward, for Inventing the Wiki 14 Years Ago Today

Thanks Ward, for Inventing the Wiki 14 Years Ago Today

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the creation of the very first wiki, Ward Cunningham’s WikiWikiWeb. Cunningham described that site as focused on “PeopleProjectsAndPatterns in SoftwareDevelopment.” The words that run together became links to other editable pages and the paradigm quickly spread all around the world.

Wiki, the collaborative editing of web pages named after a Hawaiian word for “fast,” was kind of like the Twitter, or blogging, of its day. Wiki is just about as old as blogging and both belong in the same category of wildly disruptive technologies.

From huge corporate knowledge-bases to tiny church web pages, there are countless installations of wiki software around the web. The best known is of course Wikipedia, but that’s far from the only wiki that has changed the world.

Every time a person learns that they can edit the content on a web page, view the history of edits by other people and become a part of that history as their edits become subject to further editing – that’s a life-changing experience. 14 years and a whirlwind of innovation later, wiki is still probably the best example of collaboration on this social technology we call the web.

So thanks, Ward, for inventing the wiki. The world is a much better place for it.

Cunningham celebrated the 14th birthday of the wiki at the office of wiki company AboutUs. He’s the CTO there, the first job he’s ever had at a wiki company it turns out. (He’s famous in the world of Extreme Programming as well.)

AboutUs celebrated the historic day with a birthday cake that the whole staff tried to blow out together and a blog post about the event, which was collaboratively edited. You can visit that page and join in the celebration.

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