Wiki brainstorming

A few weeks ago I talking wikis with the online journalism students at UCE. I asked them to brainstorm – in 60 seconds – ideas for wikis in their correspondent areas. The resulting ideas were surprisingly good – some would work well as stand-along public wikis, while others would provide strong material for a follow-up journalist-structured piece. In general they suggest the immense promise of wikis for empowering readers/users and tapping into their knowledge and experience. Here they are:

  • Traffic hotspots
  • 11 circle route guide (the 11 bus route has something of a cult status in Birmingham; the suggestion is users could contribute descriptions of spots along the route, which circles the city)
  • Reviews of a particularly important album (I don’t think this would work, as people would edit each other’s words down to a dull middle road; and Amazon does this well already)
  • Festival experiences (a nice way to combine the different stages, acts, etc. all taking place)
  • Memories of a band or venue (taps into collective memory)
  • “I conceived to Al Green” (after the story that so many children have been conceived to a particular song – unlikely to have enough contributors from a publication audience alone, but a cute idea)
  • Gay village nights out guide
  • Experiences of being gay/coming out
  • Women in sport (needs more focus but could take a number of angles, e.g. women’s experiences of watching a ‘man’s game’)
  • Unusual sports
  • Bad experiences with technology
  • Get best out of mobile phone/ipod – hidden features & downloads
  • Experiences of crime
  • My first crime (more light-hearted look at people’s early misdemeanours, e.g. graffiti, litter, petty shoplifting, and runs with the law)
  • Crimes while drunk (cue 300 versions of “I stole a traffic cone/rode in a shopping trolley”)
  • Travel stories – how members of the Polish got to Birmingham
  • Advice by and for the Polish community: schools, settling in, jobs, English
  • Story behind a store
  • Fashion tips
  • History of trends, designer profiles
  • Fashion Week experiences
  • City shopping guides
  • Advice on giving up smoking/etc. (under headings)
  • Experiences of emergency services (better done on comments/blog?)
  • Best & worst schools (likewise)
  • School memories (may work if only one school, and headings for various activities/people; lots of libellous potential too!)
  • Hijab ban discussion (better done on forum or blog?)
  • Guide to school services – yoga, etc.
  • About festival celebrations
  • 10 years after HK became Chinese – how have things changed?

3 thoughts on “Wiki brainstorming

  1. Megan Taylor

    Wow Paul, what a great list. I’m not yet convinced of the usefulness or productivity of wikis for newspapers though. It seems to open up an unmanageable can o’ worms.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Notes from a Teacher: Mark on Media » Thursday squibs

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