In Search of a Wiki with Track Changes

    by Gail Robinson
    March 18, 2010

    Most of us have become so used to being able to do so much online that is comes as a surprise when we want to do something and can’t find the tools to do it.

    That’s the situation confronting the Gotham Gazette staff as we move forward with our Councilpedia project that will use crowdsourcing to probe the links between money and politics. I’m hoping you can help. (For more on Councilpedia see my earlier post.)

    Monitoring Revisions

    The project will enable registered users to contribute information on campaign donors and the politicians they help. Like Wikipedia, Councilpedia needs to allow readers to easily provide us with information. But we also want the ability to monitor revisions much the same way that Microsoft Word’s track changes does.


    Our technical manager, JaVon Rice, has found that Mediawiki simply does not do everything we need it to do and is looking for something essentially like Writeboard or Google Docs, except for public rather than just internal use.

    Any ideas? Please share them in the comments.

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    Tagged: councilpedia crowdsourcing gotham gazette mediawiki wikipedia writeboard

    10 responses to “In Search of a Wiki with Track Changes”

    1. Dan Schultz says:

      I’m not a wiki guru, and you have probably come across this but in case you haven’t, this looks like a pretty great list of wiki software out there:

      It doesn’t seem to address your question directly, but it would probably only take a few hours to check out each of those solutions and see what they can do for you.

    2. There are too many options really. Please feel free to email me (though my link) if you want to chat more in-depth, but things you should definitely check out include…

      The Choice Wizard at wiki comparison site wikimatrix.org, and MindTouch, TikiWiki, XWiki, and TWiki are all worth taking a peek at if you need a MediaWiki alternative that is self-hosted.

    3. We’ve used wikimatrix.org a lot, and can verify that TikiWiki gives the option of tracking changes, along with a lot of other options (if you can master the documentation!). We also spotted a link recently on software to set up Wiki Answer sites

    4. Joshua C. Lerner says:

      There’s no software quite like MediaWiki for collaborative editing of documents. It does support monitoring content in a variety of ways – depends on what exactly you’re looking for. Are you looking for something like this MediaWiki extension?


    5. The PBS Producer Exchange is built on <a href="http://atlassian.com/confluence"Confluence as are a number of other wiki sites with which you may be familiar.

      In all frankness I work for the company.

    6. W. J. Rice says:


      Have you used TikiWiki on a project or just tested it out?

      W. J. Rice
      Gotham Gazette

    7. It’s neat to crowdsource via a wiki, but news is more delivered in a full CMS / blog format. The Gotham Gazette seems to be a real innovator. How about crowdsourcing your actual articles in posts?

      Grogger (disclosure: my company) is a platform for crowdsourcing content. Much as SeekingAlpha has done in finance or BleacherReport has done in sports, we provide a white-label platform that allows you to crowdsource your content. Here’s some recent TechCrunch coverage .

      The key to what we do: while we make it easy and rewarding for the crowd to contribute, we most importantly empower the editorial staff to manage and filter their contribution.

      Would be eager to do a demo for you. Let me know!

    8. W. J. Rice says:

      @Toby Murdock: We toyed with the idea of using something of that nature but we figured it would create more work on our side. If you want to discuss this more in depth, you can email at wrice at gothamgazette.com

    9. Mark Root says:


      We’re testing a new track changes and commenting editor for our wiki site that provides very similar functionality to what you get when editing a Microsoft Word document. What’s more, you can embed your wiki into your own website and conduct your collaboration there instead of always going back to dooWikis. We’re looking for feedback on this new functionality so please let me know if you’re interested in trying it out.

    10. linson says:

      Currently, I am not familiar with the wiki, can not give you any advice.

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