Wiki Patterns

Patterns for successful wiki use

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Someone who consumes wiki content but does not contribute to it by adding tags, comments or refining content is considered a Spectator (or sometimes Consumer or Lurker). This is an important EntryLevel role.


A healthy wiki is, at it's essence, a knowledge repository. It is fair and safe to assume that some members of the community, perhaps a large portion, simply need the information in the wiki but don't generate any new information or insights on their own. This is an important precursor to a Contributor as these people already understand the value of the resource itself, and it may be only a matter of time and encouragement before they will want to contribute their own thoughts.


A spectator may be a manager or a colleague from another group which has nothing, at this time, to contribute, but comes to your departmental wiki frequently to get phone numbers or group member names, other needed information.

  • A pattern such as Quote Participants can help transition a Spectator to a Contributor
  • A Leech is a similar pattern, but the key difference is that a Spectator is a wiki-advocate and knows the wiki is the best place to get and disseminate the most up-to-date information, while a leech diminishes the value of the wiki by 'stealing' content. A spectator will more likely than not include a link or reference to the wiki as the source of the information they've garnered from the wiki.
  • A Spectator develops into an Ambassador by being diligent about including links to wiki content that they've extracted, but encouraging those who have something to add to do so at the original source on the wiki rather than generate off-line documentation.
spectator.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/28 13:43 by splitbrain