Wikipedia lets you print a book! (of wiki information)

Let’s say you are searching around wiki trying to learn about a general topic area, and you find several pages, or even a category that covers the topic you are interested in. It used to be you would have to stay at your computer, or on the webpages, to read that information.  What’s more, you would have no easy way to navigate through the pages, or restructure them in a way that makes sense to YOU as you go through it.  And you certainly can’t save them in a way that makes it simple to go back and read again at your leisure.

At least not until now!

Now, if you find a wiki page, or pages, that you would like to read you can now save the page, or pages, as a “book.” On the left hand side of the screen you will see “print/export” as an option. If you click on that, you can enable “book creator” and start adding pages to your “book.”

You can add pages as you find them, and then move them around to get them in the sequence that makes the most sense for you.  In addition, you can create “Chapters” that will help you, and others, understand the structure of your document and provide a sense of direction and flow.

Once you have added pages, sorted them, and added chapter headings you can then save the collection as a “PDF” book, or an Open Document format perfect for editing using the Open Office Writer tool.  I have created a mini-textbook dealing with Supply Chain Management.  I created this so that I could share this information in an accessible and structured way for my students in the Collaborative Supply Chain Management class.

In addition, you can print the collection of “pages” as a real paper book.  Wikipedia makes this possible through PediaPress with prices starting at $7.90.  They explain it this way:

PediaPress offers high-quality printed books based on wiki content and is an official partner of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Clicking the Order book from PediaPress button, will take you to the website of PediaPress. Once there you’ll get a quote for your individual printed book and see a preview how it would look like.

The price depends on the number of pages, starting with US$ 7.90 for books up to 100 pages. 10% of the gross sales price goes to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Books are perfect bound, printed in the dimensions 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch (216 mm x 140 mm) and contain a table of contents, your chapters and articles, licensing information next to an index.

More information on printed books can be found in the FAQ.

One more thing:  If you have a Wikipedia account, and if you have made at  least 10 “contributions” to the Wiki (including additions, changes, deletions or corrections) you can and share your book with others.  Very useful if you want to maintain the “digital, cloud-based” feel of the wiki but provide a guided experience for your friends, or students.