Wiki backend and Wordpress frontend?
June 7, 2007 8:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to set up a collaborative community for writers where we could edit, revise and comment on each other's writing behind the scenes and "publish" finished pieces to a blog-like front page.

I'm working on a noncommercial website designed for people that enjoy writing but lack technical skill, experience, or could benefit from peer review--an online writing workshop if you will.

My question is: Is there a way to have wiki-style collaborative editing and annotation, accessible only to members, but a publishing option that would allow the easy theme and plug in integration of Wordpress?

I recently fiddled around with a Wordpress site, learning as I went. (Of course, I learned the most by breaking it utterly). I've gone from 0 to novice at CSS and am hovering around the beginner level of PHP. SQL is a scary but necessary monster I've poked once or twice, but mostly would like to hide from.

I have never used Wiki software beyond poking about on Wikipedia, but I'm a fairly quick study.

Is there a way to merge the two? Is it even necessary (i.e. does one or the other offer these options and I just don't know?)? Is there an option C I haven't heard of?

I've searched throughout AskMe, the Wordpress codex and Google, but I'm not sure if I'm phrasing my searches appropriately.

Any examples or suggestions are appreciated.
posted by JeremiahBritt to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Expression Engine comes with a wiki-module.

Also you can make a lot of the site only accessible to members, because it comes with a membership system as well.
posted by gomichild at 8:58 AM on June 7, 2007

I also use EE and it can be made to do all you're asking. Nothing to do with Wordpress however.
posted by dobbs at 9:00 AM on June 7, 2007

I'm lazy, so I'd create a page on the Wiki called "FinishedArticles". Anything linked to in FinishedArticles gets published to the blog by an admin.

If the site takes off, put the effort into integrating a bit more tightly.
posted by Leon at 9:08 AM on June 7, 2007

The Google Docs word processor lets you share docs with multiple users, keeps versions, and allows collaborators to add comments. It also lets you publish to a Wordpress (or other) blog via various blogging APIs when you are done with the document.

I'm not sure why cutting and pasting from a wiki to the blog wouldn't be a nice low tech solution too. The only issue you may have is preserving formatting. One option is to copy the rendered HTML from the wiki to the wordpress rich text editor, which seems to preserve at least some of the formatting/markup. The other is to use a wiki that lets you use markdown or textile for markup, paste the unrendered wikitext, and use a markdown or textile plugin to render out the wikitext to HTML (it looks like there are wordpress plugins that support some native wiki markup too).
posted by Good Brain at 9:53 AM on June 7, 2007

I ran across Public Square a couple weeks back, it looks like it might do what you're looking for.
posted by jjb at 10:08 AM on June 7, 2007

REST is apparently a wordpress wiki plugin (just stumbled across it, haven't tried it).
posted by treepour at 10:12 AM on June 7, 2007

Response by poster: Expression Engine and Public Square look like svelt options to look into once/if it takes off. I'll probably look into either wiki AND Wordpress or a wiki plugin in the meantime.

treepour's link doesn't seem to work (not his fault, the site seems to have issues).

Right now I'm leaning towards the low tech route for the short term at least.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 10:35 AM on June 7, 2007

Scoop has the community aspect down but none of the features you seem to want. I think wiki style publishing is overrated, however. With scoop one user posts articles and make changes, while others comment and approve, successful articles get posted to the front page.
posted by chlorus at 12:00 PM on June 7, 2007

Response by poster: With Good Brain's suggestion of Google Docs I've also been looking at collaborative writing sites as a possible backend. Coventi Pages looks like it has a lot of the features I'd like: ease of use, simplicity of text formatting, compatibility with .doc files and a good editing/commenting system.

It appears I'm spoiled for choice.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 1:01 PM on June 7, 2007

Please post to projects when you have this up and running. My old online write group just folded. *sad face*
posted by Brittanie at 4:24 PM on June 7, 2007

Why not just use WordPress? Group members with Editor role in their profile can edit each other's posts and I'm sure there are plugins which could only display a post in a "Draft" category to logged-in users, which would allow works in development to be invisible to non-members.
posted by Lionel d'Lion at 11:08 AM on June 8, 2007

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