WikiPatterns

Patterns for successful wiki use

User Tools

Site Tools


intentional_error

Intentional Error

Classification
TypePattern
FocusAdoption

Intentional error is one of the original wiki adoption patterns pioneered by Ward Cunningham, creator of the first wiki. It involves intentionally making errors which are left for others to find and fix, thus getting them used to editing a wiki.

Usage

Ward used to get teams accustomed to editing the wiki by leaving intentional errors in pages (for example small typos, calculation errors etc). When users found these errors, they would say “This is wrong!” and Ward would politely indicate that yes - they had found an error and they should fix it themselves.

This gives users the “Aha!” moment (that moment when they realise they can actually change the wiki themselves) and gives them a sense of ownership over the team's content.

Example

When you're editing a wiki page, just make some errors like misspelling a word or forgetting to capitalize at the beginning of a sentence. Then invite others to proofread your page and when they discover the errors, let them fix the errors themselves just by editing the wiki.  However, be mindful that not all readers may recognize an error or choose to fix it, so introducing substantial or factual errors in content may prove to do more damage than good.

  • Trellis - This pattern involves making specific errors in a wiki page. Both trellis and intentional error patterns motivate people to contribute because of some deficiency in content on a wiki page.

Further Reading

intentional_error.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/28 14:56 by splitbrain