Using a wiki engine for the information side of ED (teachers, makers, events, and so on) would make sense for the following reasons:
- Ease of maintenance — software is well supported and would take some of the pressure off the site admins
- Consistency of UI (and backend) across the services
- Repeatable blocks could be set up to help people easily create entries for makers, events, teachers, etc
- If used for TAB storage, it could easily encompass tune history, which would pull people from non-dulcimer backgrounds in
- All the information currently hidden away in the forums would have a place to live as a first class citizen, not threads of discussion
The last point has been contested the most — "the forum already has a search engine, and that's that". Yes, and the forum is a discussion forum — perfect for talking, not so for finding immediate information. Many various little bits of knowledge have been repeated in many different forms and places over the years.
A use case to illustrate:
A beginner comes to ED. They've got an instrument and they're not sure what gauge strings to put on it, or what tuning to try. If they're web savvy, they might search the forum for 'tunings'. They'd get approximately 3250 results. Confuddled*, they start a topic about it (which, knowing us, degrades into a DAD/DAA argument ).
Same goes for choosing an instrument, judging second hand instruments, etc.
My view of the optimum way for this to work is for the forum and the wiki to be interlinked — so that when information in the wiki sparks discussion, any interesting results are injected back into the wiki.
Anyway, I've written all this before. Just thought I should voice the idea again, now that Bruce is doing restructuring.
* I tried to write 'c o n f u s e d', but the forum tried to replace it with a non-existant smiley.