Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Even more about Deki

Yes, folks, I have more to say about Deki. At first glance this seemed like such an easy tool for any non-tech person to use, but I think I'm going to have to modify that initial impression. I'm discovering that Deki may be easy to use, but only once a tech-savvy administrator/corporate IT-person sets it up. Most of the language on the MindTouch website is very technical and not accessible to the average person. I consider myself to be fairly tech smart, for a non-tech person, but I could not understand about half of the words they used. I can tell that Deki has all kinds of useful and neat web tools to embed and use in conjunction with the wiki, but I don't understand what exactly these tools are, nor how to add them to my Deki pages. It's obvious that if I were a regular employee of a museum, and our IT person set up a Deki for us to use to collaborate on museum projects, I could easily access the wiki, add content, and view what others had added, and my life and the lives of my coworkers would be greatly improved. I might even be able to modify some of the settings, but that's about it. It seems to me that Deki is designed to be used by larger companies and corporations with IT departments and personnel, rather than being a more informal, anyone-can-use, kind of tool.

That said, from what I can tell, Deki seems to be an incredibly useful tool. Again, I'm a little lost reading the tech-heavy language, but MindTouch Deki gets consistently great reveiws and lots of awards. Most of the reviews I came across describe Deki as the best wiki out there. MindTouch has been "recognized for the most sophisticated, popular, award-winning, enterprise-scale, open-source Wiki solution in the market today." (from Groundswell)

MindTouch Deki also appears to have a lot of customers, including many large companies and government agencies, such as the U.S. Army, the EPA, the Washington Post, Microsoft, Harvard, etc.

I have created an account on Deki, and began making my own wiki to try it out. Here is my page:

(notice the custom picture in the upper left corner, and the colorful background.) This shows how the page looks if you're not logged in. If you're logged in, and are in Edit mode, it looks like this:

So, to conclude, MindTouch Deki is a fantastic collaboration tool for organizations, but is not designed for those who don't have their own IT departments at their disposal.

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