Wikis allow people to create their own collaborative information spaces on the web. While most people do not have the expertise to create their own website, Wikis give normal computer users the tools to post information, files, photos, charts and other information in order to share it with others. Wikis are used in a variety of different ways ranging from academic to business to personal ventures. Depending on the focus of the wiki and the main author’s preference, Wikis can be interactive tools that multiple people can edit. Collaboration is key for Wikis as people can leave comments and change content on the site. Authors can view the actual changes, who made the changes and when the changes occurred. Most Wikis can be customized with various colors and logos as well. Wikis are usually free (unless you want to take advantage of extra features) and allow the main author to customize who can view the Wiki and/or make changes. Google Sites is essentially a wiki page but can be managed within the Google system.
This online word processor allows users to develop and share documents electronically using Adobe’s Flash program. The interface looks identical to a word processing system and the only difference is that Buzzword’s documents are saved to the web. Document users have three distinct roles: co-author, reviewer and reader, each with different editing and reading capabilities. All users will be working from the same web based document, which eliminates conflict when multiple users attempt to edit and save. This service eliminates the hassle of having multiple versions of a document floating around in email. This service is free with limited capabilities, but users will pay a fee for a premium version.
This feature from Google allows Gmail users or those who login through their Flashline accounts to create and share documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, forms and presentations on-line that are developed from scratch or use existing templates. Users can also upload already started documents to their account. Sharing can only occur between Gmail users so non-Gmail users would have to create an account before they are able to view or collaborate on documents. Collaborators and viewers are established by the author of the document and all users can read and edit the information in real time. All documents can be accessed at any time from any computer via Google (think "cloud" computing).
RefWorks is a bibliographic management system that runs on the web and allows users to create and manage databases of annotated bibliographic references and RefShare is a module within RefWorks that allows users to quickly and easily share their references and data. Possible uses for this module can be sharing annotated class syllabi, sharing reading lists, sharing background research, collaboration on research, access to class lists for students, student group projects, program requirements for departments, reading lists and a highlight of faculty research in a department. RefShare also allows the downloading, printing and exporting of data and limiting access to particular users. An account can be created by accessing RefWorks on-campus. If accessing from off-campus you will need to authenticate using Kent VPN authentication.
Ideal for sharing information without worrying about citations, Delicious allows users to store website bookmarks on a server that can be accessed from any computer. Users can add a website to their personal list by adding buttons to their computer toolbar or accessing the Delicious site when an article is found. Many websites also have a Delicious icon on the page so users can add the information to their lists with minimal interruption to their browsing. Users have the ability to give personal titles and descriptions to the articles they find and also add tags, keywords that offer clues about how the website can be described and categorized. Users can search for information with the same tag as well as search popular tag names and view the articles that are being tagged most often. In addition, users can create subscriptions which allow information about a variety of user specific tags to be searched and delivered to user’s account on a regular basis. (For example, one might generate a subscription for music and include all their favorite artists within that subscription.) To share information with others, you must build a network which allows all members to view and share content.