You know your geeky technology has made it into the mainstream's consciousness when it's featured in an article in Time magazine. The June 6 article "It's a Wiki, Wiki World" (subscription) discusses the whole Wiki phenomenon.
The article features Wikipedia, which is obviously very successful and useful, but I believe an odd example of the utility of Wiki's because of the way the organizers veto contributors' additions. It mentions the original Wiki that started it all, Ward Cunningham's Wiki Wiki Web.
Ward was also credited as the father of Wikis in "'Wiki' May Alter How Employees Work Together" (subscription) in The Wall Street Journal in July 2004. Ward has even written a book on the topic, The Wiki Way (with Bo Leuf).
I remember when Ward was discussing starting the Wiki and the Portland Pattern Repository and was looking for contributions and participation. The PPR was a place to post pattern documents as traditional, non-editable web pages. The Wiki was an inclusive, unmoderated, yet structured place to discuss the patterns. Anyone could participate and, unlike a forum or mailing list, keep like thoughts grouped together and even make fixes and additions to each other's material. As a discussion evolved, we'd redistribute the content across new Wiki pages much like the way we'd refactor the object-oriented code most of us wrote. The discussion wondered off into all kinds of side topics that we "patterns people" and "OO people" found interesting. This is when we knew we were on to something (and just confirmed what Ward suspected all along).
This was in the mid-1990's, back in the days when the Web was new and you could get domain names that were two or three letters long, and that was important because your users had to be able to remember your domain name and type it in easily. (Now every lousy Hollywood movie and lame grocery store product seems to get its own domain name. What happened to them representing companies, not products?!) He carefully wrote "http://c2.com" on the board so that we'd be able to find his web site. ("Type it in just like this. It'll work.") It's a trip to see how this all started, then to see it featured so prominently in articles in Time and the WSJ. Pretty cool.
Wikis and Ward Cunningham Featured in Time Magazine