Wiki Patterns

Patterns for successful wiki use

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A passionate, enthusiastic champion is essential to the success of wiki because s/he will be able to generate interest, give the appropriate amount of training for each person at the right time, monitor growth of the tool and fix problems that could derail adoption.


The champion makes her/himself synonymous with wiki in an organization. When people think of wiki, they immediately think of the champion as the go-to person for guidance on learning the wiki and expanding its use to larger projects, planning events, managing meetings, and capturing tacit knowledge.


A wiki champion is someone who possesses the following traits:

  • Thought leader who is a recognized early adopter and respected by peers
  • Understands the nature of work involved in project, group, business, etc.
  • Understands how to use a wiki - how to organize content, get others involved, make it easy to use and keep it organized as it grows.
  • “Gradually they train everyone that information flow, at least as far as they're concerned, happens on the wiki.” (from It's on the Wiki! )
  • Encourages others, but doesn't push too hard or fast because an All wiki all the time approach can be dangerous, especially at the beginning when people are still learning how to use it.
  • Gets people involved by informally training them and being available for ongoing support.
  • All wiki all the time - an anti-pattern in which someone pushed for the wiki to be used for everything, all the time. An effective wiki champion will avoid this by pushing the wiki the appropriate amount at the appropriate time, and properly pacing adoption.
  • WikiGnome - also known as WikiGardener, a person who keeps the wiki running smoothly by fixing broken links, typos, and improving the overall flow and quality of content. Champions and WikiGnomes are critical to the success and quality of the wiki.
  • WikiTroll - someone who tries to disrupt the wiki by posting inflammatory comments and distracting people from the talk at hand. A champion will swiftly deal with the disruptions of a WikiTroll to keep the wiki running smoothly, and try to help the WikiTroll become a more productive community member.
  • Maintainer - the Wiki Champion often is the same guy as its maintainer.
  • Patron (or Sponsor) - Whereas a Champion brings a lot of energy to the wiki, a Patron often provides the required authority.

Further Reading

champion.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/28 13:42 by splitbrain