Wiki Patterns

Patterns for successful wiki use

User Tools

Site Tools


Build it and they will come


From the movie, Field of Dreams where Kevin Costner builds a baseball diamond in a cornfield. Then all the great players just appear from the corn. Well, real Web 2.0 ain't like the movies.

How do I notice it?

The wiki is being built by a team disconnected from the intended user community. They are making a big investment in both building the framework of the wiki and supplying content, perhaps from old intranet content or procedures manuals. There is no proper engagement with the community, and little contribution from outside the team building the wiki. “Well, management wanted a wiki but everyone was too busy to provide any input, so we are building it anyhow. Then the community can always correct it later if it isn't right.”

How do I fix it?

  • A wiki champion is needed to link to the community, understand how to organize content, get others involved.
  • IdentityMatters - based on the idea that people are more likely to take their contributions seriously and put more care into what they write when their identity is associated with it.
  • BarnRaising - a planned event in which a community meets at a designated time to build content on the wiki together and understand how to use the wiki, and feel a sense of buy-in.
  • Do it all - someone who jumps in and does everything s/he possibly can on the wiki, to the potential exclusion of others. Just be careful not to do this to an empty page that's only been empty for a very short time, as the original page creator may be working on content that's just not posted yet.
  • Too much structure - guessing the structure of the wiki in advance.
build_it_and_they_will_come.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/28 15:04 by splitbrain