There are two main types of wikis. The first and most commonly known are public-facing wikis, and these are often used and maintained by groups of enthusiasts or experts. The second type is private wikis used by organizations and corporations.
Public wikis are great if your organization has relevant information you'd like to share with the world.
Some examples of public wikis are:
Private wikis are best used when your organization needs a place to collaborate and organize information.
Organizations that use a private wiki:
Beyond being an open-source platform, MediaWiki is highly customizable software for creating, sharing, and cataloging almost anything. Its vast applications range from corporate knowledge bases to secure government research reports to video game fan pages.
If price is a factor, then MediaWiki is a great alternative to Sharepoint or Confluence. For a company with 1000 employees, an organization would be paying approximately $10,000 a month for a Confluence or Sharepoint installation. A MediaWiki installation for the same size organization may cost as little as $1,000 a month. And since MediaWiki allows an unlimited number of users at no additional cost, the pricing disparity with Sharepoint and Confluence only grows with each new employee.
As far as public-facing wiki solutions are concerned, MediaWiki is by far the most widely used. Wikipedia is the most popular, but there are thousands of other public-facing websites that are built with MediaWiki too. One aspect that makes MediaWiki truly unique is the variety of websites it powers — everything from WikiHow, “The most trusted how-to website on the internet,” to WikiZilla, “The Godzilla Encyclopedia.”
MediaWiki was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation and first rolled out in 2002 to power Wikipedia, their flagship initiative. Because MediaWiki was developed with the WikiMedia Foundation's mission in mind — to bring free, publicly available knowledge to the world — MediaWiki has been built and refined to handle millions of hits per day. Wikipedia is the perfect testing ground too. With 17 million edits and 1.7 billion hits per month, it can handle anything that is thrown its way.
One of the things we often hear from our clients is that they have too many software tools. They’re all designed to make our lives easier, but when we add too many, they can often complicate a simple task.
MediaWiki is the solution for organizations wishing to simplify their toolset and bring everything under one roof. Because of MediaWiki’s ability to be customized, it can be used to replace a vast array of other tools.
One thing that sets MediaWiki apart from its competitors is the rich community of extension developers. Almost any feature that can be dreamt up has been built as an extension to MediaWiki, allowing us to quickly add functionality to our client's websites. Similarly, if a Sharepoint or Confluence website were chosen, a requested feature may take several years to be available, if indeed it's ever built.
MediaWiki extensions may require customization to fit within your organization's process. Still, they do allow us to tailor feature sets to give our clients the right tool for the job within days or weeks rather than years.