I'm interested in finding out which wiki engine is the most used. I'm not interested in a CMS that includes a wiki, but purely wiki engines. The reason for this is that I want to conduct a usability test on a popular wiki interface with the assumption that the technology will be as ubiquitous as email one day.
I've tried some methods to determine the answer:
1. Select the top ten wiki engines from c2.com and compare their search trends using Google Trends
However, this only indicates which wikis with known names are being searched for. A relative indication, certainly, but not easily quantifiable.
2. Simply look at the wiki engine popularity list from c2.com
This list is certainly updated by experts in the domain, but it still doesn't answer the question of actual usage.
3. Look at the list of downloads via Sourceforge
Again, this indicates which engines are being downloaded, not necessarily used. It also cuts out hosted wikis such as Wikia (though clearly Wikia runs on MediaWiki).
4. The s23 wiki provides a list of wiki statistics; however, it only monitors wikis that run on Mediawiki as far as I can see.
I understand that the script used by the second method looks for "wiki" in links. What about wikis that don't have that in any of their anchors? What about hosted wikis?
So have any of you investigated means (spidering, looking at the metadata of generated HTML pages, etc.) of answering such a problem?
I just made a page public which I created a few days ago for a different research project. It lists comparison and detail view statistics of Wikis listed here at WikiMatrix. Its not exactly what you want, but I guess there is no way to collect real usage statistics of Wiki engines. The statistics page just adds another component to the methods you already listed. Combining all those should give you a pretty good idea which Wikis are used most.
Another idea would be to compare the number of backlinks to the Wiki's homepage in Google, Technorati and del.icio.us, assuming mor popular Wikis are more often mentioned in blogs or bookmarked.
I can certainly use WikiMatrix's statistics as a viable proof of popularity also. I also noticed that it includes hosted wikis! A very helpful page, thank you.
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