PBWiki hits 50,000 wikis

50K Wikis!Hometown hero (created by a small team of folks lead by David Weekly of fame) has hit 50,000 PBWikis (what’s a PBwiki?).

You’ll note that almost all the wikis that I use today are PBWikis: Barcamp, Munified, Coworking, CivicForge, Mash Pit and the new Micro Microformats wiki.

Why? Ease of use, simplicity, speed… and the right subset of features and a simple interaction model. It feels solid. It looks good. It does what I want it to do (I’m also watching Stikipad as it offers Textile).

And now it looks like I’ll even be getting to do some work for the team on some upcoming usability and design tasks. Not to mention microformats integration. Nice.

Bonus: So I’m curious — what features do you look for in a wiki? What’s missing from your experience? Essentially, if you ever had a wiki feature request that you’re dying for (or something you never want to see in a wiki again), what would you say?

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: Molly.com (YC W18), Uber, Google.

5 thoughts on “PBWiki hits 50,000 wikis”

  1. “what features do you look for in a wiki?”

    I’m not a big Wiki user, but I use a few at work for documentation purposes and it works great. It’s not PBWiki – although now that’s a consideration – but one thing I find frustrating with wikis is the styling.

    I can highlight a word and click the Bold in the toolbar and it does the ** around the word , which is perfect. But if I goofed and want to un-bold the word, I can’t highlight the word and click the toolbar Bold again – it just double-bolds it with another set of **

    This behavior is what I expect thanks to Word and other editors but not what I get in wikis. And because the toolbar is there, I typically don’t (have to) remember the actual ‘code’ to make a word bold – is it two asterisks? Or three? Or was it one? Because of that (and because it’s there) I use the toolbar – but when I goof I have to do a lot of manual editing to get it back to its original state so I can re-click the toolbar option, or try to remember and type the styling in by hand.

    And in the specific “it would be cool to have” category, a styling button for the PRE or CODE tag would be cool – or a customizable toolbar? Since my experience with wikis is for documentation of source code, I have to type in the preformatting tags by hand, which is easy – but hey, if there’s button for it, all the better.

    And as my first look at PBWiki, I must say it is far better than the one I am used to using (I don’t remember which one it is). I will certainly suggest using it as an alternative and for future needs. Keep up the great work!

  2. Per person RSS feeds! I want to be able to track a user to see what they’re interested in and what changes they make. I’m all about user-centric; so people can mix/match communities, but not everyone is on board the blogging bandwagon yet…

    Most Wiki’s lack this feature (although MediaWiki has a few hacks).

  3. Hey there Chris, I’ve struggled with PBWiki a bit, so please don’t take this as a rant as much as one user’s experience with it.

    To be honest, the PBWiki was just barely functional for me when working on the BarCamp stuff and now on the Pinko Marketing wiki.

    Perhaps it’s because I’m used to the mediawiki syntax. It’s what I used when I edit wikipedia and wikinews. It’s what I’ve set up on our intranet at the nonprofit where I work.

    With PBwiki, it gets too clever sometimes, and it’s too strict others. It makes internal links to words when I didn’t ask it to, and often inappropriately. For instance, FeltUpTV.com becomes a link to the new, empty page FeltUpTV on the PBwiki, and the .com goes unlinked.

    To link to the outside world, I either have to use the full web address or link using an tag? Multi-level unordered lists are still beyond me as well. The multi-star method:


    doesn’t work. In fact, none of those work, since it has to be
    * A
    with the whitespace intact to even show up as a bullet.

    Struggling to make my preview look right, I look for the “editing help” link and it’s not available. I save my page, ugly and broken, and generally, I don’t come back.

  4. oops – forgot to URL encode the <a href=””> there, so it’s all an empty link after a certain point! Sorry!

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