Wiki Patterns

Patterns for successful wiki use

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The “ButTheIntranet” pattern is one propogated by a webpageChampion to discourage wiki use, perhaps because they are familiar or vested in the “old” way of doing things on the world-wide-web.


  • “But we've just spent three years and $$$$ building an Intranet for this content., why do we need a Wiki?”
  • “There are certain documents that you don't want to let just anyone edit. Why put those on a wiki?”
  • “You can't make production quality webpages using a wiki platform”
  • “You can't make a fully functional web portal on a wiki platform”

Root Causes

The webpageChampion is someone who fills the following roles for the organization's intranet, and perhaps sees wiki as a threat to their ability to do their job or a waste of time.

  • Controls publishing of web content
  • May be held accountable to show a “success” or a “return on investment” for web and/or wiki content
  • Doesn't have invested interest in promoting innovative or collaborative thought

In the a way similar to a WikiNoob they may only see or re-create pre-existing ways of interacting with content.


You must first convince this person that there is a deficiency with the static intranet or dynamic, but technical, portal system they implemented, but you can't do that by directly attacking 'their baby' project.

  • demonstrate additional metrics the webChampion can highlight, in addition to their familiar 'number of visitors', such as 'most collaborative page', most active authors
  • propose that they retain a 'publish' control, but increase their responsibility (or SLA) to publish content from ANYONE in the organization in a timely manner. They will soon be overwhelmed by the amount of participation that they simply 'approve' without comment or even review, and by that point, they may be more comfortable with the system.
  • engage the webpageChampion to address and be accountable for the companies knowledge innovation or collaboration objectives.- show how the wiki can seamlessly integrate with their 'baby', but offer additional functionality that they would not have the resources to re-invent or re-implement themselves.
buttheintranet.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/28 15:05 by splitbrain