The [wiki:FrontPage first ever wiki site] was founded in 1994 as an automated supplement to the PortlandPatternRepository. The site was immediately popular within the pattern community, largely due to the newness of the internet and a good slate of InvitedAuthors. The site was, and remains, dedicated to PeopleProjectsAndPatterns.
WardCunningham created the site and the WikiWikiWeb machinery that operates it. He chose wiki-wiki as an alliterative substitute for quick and thereby avoided naming this stuff quick-web. An early page, WikiWikiHyperCard, traces wiki ideas back to a HyperCard stack he wrote in the late 80's.
See also one of these links:
http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki or wiki:Wiki/FrontPage
get some answers on the WikiWikiWebFaq
get to know more about the WikiHistory
[http://news.mpr.org/programs/futuretense/daily_rafiles/20011220.ram Ward Cunningham Radio Interview]