The 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 FrontPage
get some answers on the WikiWikiWebFaq
get to know more about the WikiHistory
Ward Cunningham Radio Interview