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Hybrid Wikis_Empowering Users to Collaboratively Structure Information

Wikis are increasingly used for collaborative enterprise information management since they are flexibly applicable and encourage the contribution of knowledge. The fact that ordinary wiki pages contain pure text only limits how the information can be processed or made accessible to users. Semantic wikis promise to solve this problem by capturing knowledge in structured form and offering advanced querying capabilites. However, it is not obvious for business users, how they can benefit from providing semantic annotations which are not familiar to them and often difficult to enter.

In this paper, we first introduce the concepts of hybrid wikis, namely attributes, type tags, attribute suggestions, and attribute definitions with integrity constraints. Business users interact with these concepts using a familiar user interface based on forms, spreadsheet-like tables, and auto-completion for links and values. We then illustrate these concepts using an example scenario with projects and persons and highlight key implementation aspects of a Java-based hybrid wiki system (Tricia). The paper ends with the description of practical experiences gained in two usage scenarios, a comparison with related work and an outlook on future work.