Is it possible to allow anonymous users to edit without logging in?

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  • Updated 7 years ago
It used to be anyone could edit as long as they had the wiki password. It looks as though that's changed, and now my students are presented with a login page when they try to edit a page. They cannot log in (too young) and I don't want to create dummy logins.

I am using the free version.
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Chris

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Posted 8 years ago

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David E. Weekly, Founder & CPO

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Hi! This is a tough issue. We've had a lot of teachers emailing us asking for us to make sure an address gets entered before proceeding so they know which students are making which changes, so several months ago we started asking that *some* address be provided. It sounds like you've just discovered that that solution doesn't work well for you. Can you help us think of a setup that would work better?
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Chris

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I blogged about this at http://tinyurl.com/3ae9f8

My response to you would be require a first name (and I think it's important to note first name only needed) and make the email address not required. I think if kids are not doing this appropriately then it's more of a classroom management issue and one not necessarily designed to be handled by software.

Or, make it where the user can decide? In some setting somewhere, make it where I can say, "I do not want my contributors to have to share their email address", etc.

This issue made me turn to Wikispaces, and that's unusual for me but with kids so young I can't handle asking them to use an email address.

Chris
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David E. Weekly, Founder & CPO

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Chris,

Letting an admin specify whether or not to require an email address seems reasonable. This is an option we'll consider thanks to your input. Remember that a simple way to do this if you have a someuser@gmail.com address you can have your kids put in someuser+joey@gmail.com - that way it will all still go to you.
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Chris

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Of course, but can you imagine having to answer those questions to a classroom full of 11 year-olds? That's reasonable for us as adults, but remember you're dealing with children who sometimes can't figure out a basic email address. I cam promise you you'd have a kid put

some user + joey @ gmail.com

and that would mess it all up. Remember how many of us deal with very young children and not all of my students have even touched a computer much before coming to me.

Chris
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I would want to allow completely anonymous users to edit my wiki as well. 'cause obtaining a password system or signing up for a PBWiki account is sometimes too much of a hassle for people to bother helping out.

Perhaps the best solution, would be to allow each PBWiki to choose their own login system which they prefer.

Those who wish to track who's logging in for the edits can use the system with a user/password.
Those who just want a private wiki can choose the password-only system.
Those who want a completely free-to-edit, public wiki, can choose the anonymous system.
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Guy Fawkes (BANNED!)

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I, too, cast my vote for allowing complete anonymity when editing my wikis.
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Tchalvak

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I agree as well, simply because creating an account and login, and offering up their email to an unknown company, and then having to remember all that information, is a barrier to the contribution for some people, and I'm trying to get the maximum contribution possible from my wikis, in many cases.

It'd even be ok, I guess, if it were just a page-level security option, so that certain pages could be made editable without any extra account creation or something like that, but part of the point of a wiki is so that multiple people can contribute easily and un-technically, and requiring contributor email addresses, account login creation and to remember account information that they may use only a few times works against that very powerfully.

Accessability is, I want to point out, the reason that wikipedia was able to become as successful as it is, and why it continues to grow; because it allows instantaneous, one-link editing for maximum contribution power.
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Jonathan Grubb

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I'd also like to allow anyone to edit without having to create any kind of account or enter any email address. My audience isn't 11 year olds, but they're people in the entertainment industry so it's pretty similar. Sadly I'm going to switch to a different wiki if I can't figure out how to make it totally open.
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Guy Fawkes (BANNED!)

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Until they get around to actually doing something...

The workaround I've used for the 2.0 Forum Demo Wiki is to create a throwaway email address that I control, add that email as an admin, then publish the email and password on the FrontPage.

Look forward to a new blog post about this issue on Monday.
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Shoot - if there is no way around this then it is a problem for my whole idea of the advantages a wiki is supposed to provide.

I may have picked another provider if I had known this - now it may be too late.

As everyone knows, these days, people are just so concerned about providing email addresses...
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Rachel Pennig

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Hello! You can create a generic email address and give it access to your wiki. Then your users can use that email to sign in. Would that work for you?
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This is harder to use, with fewer editing options, and less access than a regular website. I like the idea of using a name and a password. Kids can remebr their names but a fake e-mail address and a password is way too much for any reasonable person to ask.
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Tchalvak

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The "guest" email and password can simply be published in the "this will be seen on the logon page" textbox of the pbwiki settings, so no-one has to remember it.

Annoyingly this does require us (pbwiki creators) to go to an outside system and create a completely separate email address to deal with the new constraints that have been added to the pbwiki login system, instead of having an option within pbwiki to add a guest login.
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This problem is why I'm not using PBWiki. Even if the wiki I'm using right now doesn't have preformatted text, I'm still not using PBWiki. It's better for the users when there's annonymous logins. That's what a wiki is about.
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I too see this as a problem. Some parents won't allow kids to have email addresses. Thus I can't require pbwiki participation in my younger-student classes. I thought of having one email address of my own and let them all use it. I don't know if that would work, but it would not help me know who is posting. I guess pbwiki is not a service for small children. It's an adult resource.
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Rachel Pennig

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Hi MrGibbs, if you are using an educational 2.0 wiki, we offer something called Classroom Accounts - this allows you to generate user names and passwords for your students - no email addresses required. Check it out by going to "Settings" and then "Users"
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Tim

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Rachel... Are there plans for making the useful feature available for anybody?
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Rachel Pennig

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Hi Tim, this is an edu-only feature, and there are not plans to use it any differently.
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Joel Franusic

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However, we are working on addressing this issue differently on non-edu wikis :-D