Forums suffer from a big disadvantage because great information is visible only for a short time before being buried under a ton of threads. Good threads can be made 'sticky' but there is a sensible limit beyond which this becomes impracticable. Forums have a search function of course but only very few forum owners spend time making sure that thread titles and post content are optimised for searches performed by members looking for specific information. I do spend time on this but when the user gets a list of 50 threads he may only have time to read ten or so and it might be the 15th thread that would have given him the information he was looking for. To that end I have recently introduced the HJ-Reseach Wiki. This is an integral part of the forum and will contain separate pages for all aspects of the Hitler Youth organisation and also for its collectibles.
A Wiki article is a snapshot of what is currently known about something. Instead of being just the opinion of one person, it is the result of a collaboration among people and as such, it pools experience and knowledge onto one page. Correctly administered and maintained, the Wiki works perfectly in concert with the forum. The forum provides the discussion and the Wiki stores the relevant parts centrally and for instant use. Articles can of course be directly written to the Wiki.
A Wiki article is nothing unless the information it contains is referenced and verifiable. Period references must always be the cornerstone of any article but as we know, some things we find cannot always be explained . In such cases a logical, clear and good quality article is required. Once the page is up and available it can be expanded on and references added when found.
As we know, there is a lot of information out there that is known to be incorrect but despite that, it is still seen being repeated on the various militaria forums. This is where the strengths of a Wiki come into play because a good page can sweep away a ton of doubt and half-truth.
Unlike other wikis, ours is quite simple to use and is seamlessly integrated into the forum software.
I'm sure that you will agree me that a Wiki like this can change the face of militaria discussion and that it has the potential to bring some much-needed clarity into collecting.
Rumours don't make it onto a HJ-Research Wiki page . Just the facts.