New: Edit Summaries

PBworks has been around since 2005, and during that time one of questions that keeps coming up is “Why don’t you have wiki edit summaries like Wikipedia?”

Partly, it was a matter of friction.  We wanted to keep the interface simple, and asking people to enter an edit summary each time they hit save would introduce a lot of friction.

Partly, it was a matter of use case.  Most of the original wikis back when we were PBwiki were relatively small, and so edit summaries weren’t as crucial as for Wikipedia.

But as we’ve grown (as have our users), the second argument became less relevant.  And as for the first, we realized that we could simply make the edit summaries optional, so that folks who didn’t like them didn’t even have to see the option.

That’s why today we rolled out edit summaries to all our users.  Whenever you edit a wiki page, just click “Describe your changes” to enter your short (<2,000 characters) summary.  Your description will appear (along with all the other edit revision information) in the page history for that page.

Don’t like the “Describe your changes” box taking up room on your screen?  Just click “hide this” and the box will go away until you click the “Describe your changes link.

For more details, you can read our User Manual.

Published by Chris Yeh

Chris has been building Internet businesses since 1995. He has been a founder, founding employee, or seed investor in almost a dozen startups, including PBworks, and advises a wide array of startups ranging from network equipment makers to vertical search engines. He liked his investment in PBworks so much, he decided to join the company. Chris earned two degrees from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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