As the one-year anniversary of Oakland Wiki draws near, the potential uses for Oakland’s own wiki site continues to increase. In just a single year, the Oakland Wiki community has created over 3,000 entries that cover topics ranging from where to access public computers, Oakland’s worker-owned cooperatives (including a martial arts dojo), Black Panther Party history, and Oakland’s up-and-coming DIY/maker/hackerspaces communities.

One potential use for Oakland Wiki that has yet to be fully utilized is its capacity to assist organizations in Oakland, and to help them maintain an active presence on the Internet. This is a particularly relevant feature for organizations operating on a shoestring budget.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of small-to-moderate-sized organizations and nonprofits performing exceptional work in the community. Through our volunteer organizing, we have come across diverse and impressive groups that range in scope from ethnic dance troupes for youth, to programs helping low-income seniors obtain employment.

However, much of their work goes unnoticed. They may have a website, but due to lack of resources, manpower, or technical skill level, the sites are rarely updated to reflect the organization’s current activities.

Moreover, if an organization is not continually updating posts, tweeting, tagging, or tumbling their activities, then they are handicapped in comparison to those organizations with the resources to update their online presence. For the sake of expediency, many of these organizations utilize their Facebook page as their only online presence.

Oakland Wiki can provide organizations with a way to maintain easy and low-cost updates on the Internet. Organizations typically pay thousands of dollars for assistance in setting up and maintaining a website.

Many of the features available on a typical website are available on Oakland Wiki for free, are easy to use, and can be managed by anyone with access to the Internet. In other words, you don’t have to learn to code or even create an account to update entries.

And unlike Facebook, Oakland Wiki does not own your content, bombard you with advertising, and or track your activity. In addition, having your organization on Oakland Wiki will help readers identify you as residing in and serving Oakland communities – instead of being seen as one of a million organizations from all over the world.

We need you to help us build this great community media resource! Those interested in creating a webpage for their organization on Oakland Wiki, assistance is available during Oakland Wiki open community meetups.

The meetups are every Thursday evening from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Sudo Room hackerspace in downtown Oakland. In addition, our volunteers can also come to your organization. Assistance is available in Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Editor’s Note: This piece reflects an individual opinion and is not a reported story from Oakland Local. Oakland Local invites community residents to share their views about events and issues in Oakland.


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