Ron Mader started the Oaxaca wiki in July of 2007.
1. Briefly describe your group, your wiki, and what you use it to do:
The Oaxaca Wiki brings together the fans of Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s plurilingual in approach and we measure progress slow step by slow step. We bring together the visitors and the locals who edit information about unique cultural and environmental aspects of Oaxaca in multiple languages (starting with English and Spanish). We focus attention on niche interests in travel and tourism, helping guide the way for those interested in cuisine, indigenous peoples, cycling, markets, and a host of other topics. All travel is local when we learn to listen to the locals.
The wiki format has worked wonders. Paraphrasing Benjamin Disraeli: “The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to wiki about it.”
2. Besides the Edit button, which wiki feature is your favorite?
History. The ability to see and review revisions over time makes the progress visible to all. Cheers to embedded transparency and accountability! Second favorite: Embed a widget. This has been so helpful in adding videos.
3. What is one way you’re using wikis and other web 2.0 tools in your projects?
Creating events, including local workshops, photo safaris and grassroots fairs. To get people to interact requires collaborative editing. The wiki has been a stellar platform.
4. Tell us about a particular moment that made you say, “Aha! THIS is why I use wikis!”
The development of the Indigenous Cuisine (Comida Indigena) menu. I simply print out the page from time to time and show it to friends at local markets. The conversations that this engenders is awesome. Likewise, we couldn’t create multiple language vocabularies without true collaboration. Check out:
5. If you could ask it, what do you think your wiki would say about you?
I think the wiki would exclaim how collaboration is the key strength of my work. Even if the pages are not physically edited by others, they show the steady development in a slow conversation and reveal how valuable local knowledge is when combined with global partners. This type of open journalism encourages feedback that was unimaginable ten years ago. That said, what we do in the next ten years depends on our willingness to collaborate. The experiences online and in face to face chats using this wiki has been fundamental in developing collaborative skills among friends who share different backgrounds, languages and interests.