Wikis Come into Focus
Collecting efficiently while maintaining perspective
By Bruce McKinney
Wiki Bibliographies and Reductive Pooling
Wiki Bibliographies are the answer to two questions:  what material lies within a field and  which items are available today. Wiki Bibliographies are narrowly focused on specific collecting areas, always evolving and ever more complete. They are intended to encompass a subject completely. They are living bibliographies. Online listings require some degree of search expertise and a great deal of time to conduct the searches. Wikis organize collecting fields by listing all relevant material in a bibliography and then searching listings and auctions for matches. In the current iteration material in Books for Sale and upcoming auctions are matched. For AE subscribers the two million records in the American Exchange Database will be linked later this month. The premises of this approach are simple:  there is too much material and  never enough time. Wikis will bring entire subjects into immediate view with reductive pooling, the systematic inclusion of the relevant which is gathered for the Wiki each day. Efficiency matters.
Currently there are four Wikis open to the public. None are complete. All are under development and fourteen others will be up by April. Additional Wikis will be announced as this project takes hold.
How do I use a Wiki?
Wiki Bibliographies are a link under free services in the menu listed down the left side of most AE screens. Select Wiki Bibliography to go to the Wiki Start Page.
Here there are two choices:  Select a Wiki Bibliography from the drop down list or  Propose a new Wiki Bibliography. For those persons interested to discuss becoming the Wiki Bibliographer for a specific project click here to propose a subject. Include your telephone number. To view the list of Wikis that are currently available select the down button and then GO.
For an interesting example of a Wiki select Rondout & Kingston, New York and then GO. In this example 92 items have been posted for this area midway between New York City and Albany on the Hudson River. The area has a complex history and no existing bibliography. This Wiki will become the definitive record of its materials over the next few years.
Wikis Come into Focus
Material immediately available
There are six primary links:  Propose a new Item,  Ask a Question,  Follow this Wiki,  Books for Sale Matches,  Auction Matches, and  Wiki Start Page.
 Propose a new item. Use this link to contact the Wiki Bibliographer to suggest a new item or changes to an existing item. You can propose an item without being a member. If you are a member and are signed in when you select this link this communication and our response will be part of your record.
 Ask a Question. "I have some old postcards from Rondout. Are the appropriate?" You won't know until you ask. The answer, by the way, is yes.
 Follow this Wiki. To become part of this Wiki community you need to be at least a free member. Click here to sign-up now. Then sign-in, select the bibliographies you would like to follow and for each select "Follow this Wiki." That's it. Whenever you sign-in we'll show you the changes that have occurred since you last logged in. If events are scheduled - auctions or shows - you will also receive notice both by email and on your AE Home Page.
 Books for Sale Matches. Any AE member who lists material is Books for Sale automatically has their listings matched again the logical search terms and phrases for this Wiki. Everyday the material is updated. The default sequence is date posted order, the material posted over-night comes up first.
Wikis Come into Focus
A step into the future
 Auction Matches. Every day every lot in every documented book, manuscript and ephemera auction upcoming around the world is matched against the basic search terms for each Wiki and any matches found reported in the morning. We cover more than 200,000 auction lots containing more than 500,000 items each year. Nevertheless, because Wikis are narrowly focused and auctions very broad such matches will occur infrequently. The focus is on good matches and their quality should be relatively high.
 Wiki Start Page. This link takes you back to the Wiki Start Page.
In the coming months we will link the AED more directly to the Wikis. We will offer the option for Wiki Bibliographers to maintain blogs as well as Q & A boards. We will also add a descriptive link for "Introduction to this Subject."
We welcome all questions and comments about Wikis. You can
contact me directly. I'm Bruce McKinney and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.