Friday, April 18, 2008

Thing #17 - Play in the Sandbox

Sandbox" is the term that wikis often use to describe the area of the wiki website that should be used for pure play and experimentation. For this discovery and exploration exercise, we’ve set up a whole OCL WebChallenge Wiki for you to play with.

Our wiki is on the website which is a wiki site offering restricted wikis to individuals and businesses. This means you have to be invited to be able to edit or contribute on any wiki with a Pbwiki address like ours: The two types of invitations (a link to follow and the invite key) that allow editing privileges have been sent by email to everyone who registered a blog on the Web Challenge as of April 17. The information was sent to the email address you used when you registered your blog with us by sending an email to the committee's gmail address. The information was also posted on Ocean Net. See the OceanNet bulletin called: "Web Challenge Update: Thing #17 - what you need to know to play in the sandbox" for more details if you didn't get the email.

To mark your adventure on OCLWebthings wiki site, you will be adding a link to your blog to the page on the Oclwebthing wiki called OCL Webthings Blogs.

Discovery Resources:

PBWiki Video Gallery - Short videos of PBwiki features
PB Wiki Tips Discovery Exercise

Discovery Exercise:

1. Access the
OCL Webthings wiki. There are two ways of doing this.

* Go to your email account you used to register your blog with the WebChallenge Committee and open the email you were sent about OCL Webthings wiki and Thing #17. Click on the invitation link inside the email.


*Go to the same email, write down the secret "invite key" to the OCLWebthings wiki, then go to, and click on the edit button. You’ll go to a page with the option to “Log in with a Password/Invite key.” Type in the invite key in the box labeled: Wiki Password/Invite key.
In the box labeled name, put in whatever name you want attached to your contributions to the wiki. It doesn’t have to be your real name. In the email box type the email you are using for the challenge.

Why all this bother? Pbwiki requires an share link or a invite key to keep the editing rights to only those people the Administrator of the wiki wants to have the power to change the wiki. Otherwise it is an open wiki like Wikipedia and the whole world can edit it. That's not a good idea for most wikis that are cooperative efforts within a specific group.

2. So to “explore-and-play-with-wikis” in this exercise, you are asked to add an entry or two to the Sandbox page on the wiki. The theme of this wiki page is simply “Favorites” : Favorite books, favorite vacation spots, favorite restaurants, favorite anything. All you need to do is add your favorites under one or more categories. You're also asked to play with the fonts and the formatting features.

3. Add your blog to the OCL Webthings Blogs page. That's how we'll know that you've been there. The instructions on how to add a link to your blog are posted on the Favorite Blogs page right on the wiki. They aren't complete. The final steps were left for you to figure out. Remember, if you have questions, or need a little help, email us at

4. Create a post in your blog about the experience. Here's a question you might want to blog about: What are the potential uses of a pbwiki for work?

Advanced Optional Exercise:

Add a computer tip, hint, recommended webpage or anything computer related to this page on our wiki: "
Our Favorite Computer Tips" This page could be a start of a library best practices wiki of our own.

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