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Virtual Community Health Promotion
Family and Community Health
  • Richard Crespo, Marshall University
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The “wiki” and open-source phenomena are transforming the way knowledge is generated and shared around the world. The word wiki is from the Hawaiian term wiki-wiki, which means to do something quickly (1). The term became prominent because of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia (, which now has more than 2 million articles contributed by tens of thousands of people. People in so many fields are using Internet communities that the term wiki has come to refer to an online group that collectively works on a project. In the business world, the wiki concept is called wikinomics (1). Even U.S. spy agencies are using a wiki-like online community, Intellipedia, on which people with U.S. security clearances can update each other on security matters.

This article is available as an open access article from Preventing Chronic Disease. The Budapest Open Access Initiative defines open access as free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. Final version may be found at

Copyright © 2007 Preventing Chronic Disease.

Citation Information
Crespo R. Virtual community health promotion. Prev Chronic Dis [serial online]. 2007 Jul [date cited]. Available from: