CarlWiki

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This entry is about the history of CarlWiki and its place at Carleton. For help on using CarlWiki, see CarlWiki:About.

CarlWiki is an open-content wiki in the style of Wikipedia (a massive online encyclopedia) located at www.carlwiki.org. Its purpose is to provide a free flow of information between everyone who has an interest in Carleton College, be they students, faculty, staff, alumni, prospies, or members of the community. Anyone can contribute to it.

CarlWiki is an unofficial-student run resource. It has the potential to unify and integrate Carleton-related information already available on the Internet, and bring forward information that was previously only available via word of mouth. For example, the improv comedy group Cujokra doesn't maintain a website, but useful information about them can be found on CarlWiki, and anyone with information to add can do so simply by clicking "Edit."

There is obviously potential for misinformation and vandalism on such a public resource, but this is kept in check by dedicated moderators who ensure that changes to the wiki are consistent with existing policy. Anyone can undo changes made by others by clicking on "History" and bringing back an older version of the page.

Origins

CarlWiki front page in 2005

The MediaWiki software used to run CarlWiki was installed by Trevor Burnham '07 on December 28, 2004, and the site was immediately made publically accessible. A few other students with experience contributing to Wikipedia, notably Scott Konzem '06 and Paul Sanderson-Cimino '06, were immediately informed of CarlWiki's existence and made some initial contributions.

On March 22, 2005, a week before Spring Term 2005, CarlWiki was announced on Trevor's User File. Several readers of that User File began making contributions. It was also announced on the Wikipedians group on Facebook. Word later spread through other conferences on Caucus, though awareness among the Carleton community remained vague.

On April 15, 2005, the site was moved from CarlWiki.com to CarlWiki.org for aesthetic reasons.

A year after the site's creation, it had over 200 articles, but most of these were short stubs. During the Spring Break of 2006, the site was redesigned. Carleton-related news and upcoming events were incorporated into the front page. A campaign of publicity was launched during Spring Term 2006, using posters scattered across the campus. By the end of the term, it had about 500 articles.

Future plans

It is hoped that CarlWiki will become an integral part of the Carleton environment in the future, providing course information during registration season, technical information on computing, explanations of college policies, and perhaps most importantly, a sense of the college's history.

But we're just getting started. If you have any questions, e-mail the webmaster.