WikiPatterns

Patterns for successful wiki use

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talk:defendyourself

Not sure about this as a pro-pattern.

Could be called a 'PeerPressure' anti-pattern, or could be expanded on how to best deal with dissent. While using a mass email to incite social peer pressure to knock certain people in line works very well in some cases, there are often less antogonistic ways that could be tried first.

Posted by James Mortimer at Aug 30, 2007 07:13


I agree, IMO this would probably do more harm than good in a majority of cases. In my experience, most people prefer (and respond better to) an individual approach if they are unhappy with something. Many people are simply reluctant to approach someone for help, but are open to it if it is offered.

If somebody is not using the wiki, there is usually a specific reason for it that public humiliation is not going to address. Sure - they'll probably use the wiki that one time - but they'll also resent you for it, and they'll probably be right back to their old tricks 5 minutes later.

Posted by David Dembo at Oct 10, 2007 01:24


My experience has been that one-on-one is the best start to conflict resolution.

Then, if needed, escalate by involving a trusted (by you & opponent) third party, preferably a peer of the opponent (so that hierarchy issues are minimized), so that both you and the other get a feel for who is being reasonable.

Never lose sight of the possibility that a Wiki contrarian may be right.

Posted by Timothy at Jan 22, 2008 16:35


I think this “pattern” is gratuitously antagonistic, as written; hence the negative reactions. But the basic idea itself is on target.

Generally speaking, people just want information. It really doesn't matter if they're upset, antagonistic, or whatever. Ignore their tone; set your own tone of professionalism and cooperation.

Just point them to the Wiki, if the information is there. Don't single them out – just do this for everyone, routinely.

If the information is NOT there – add it. Thank them for their suggestion, and point them to the new addition. Ask them if they would like to make any edits.

Again, do this for everyone, routinely.

If they complain that they couldn't FIND the information, take them seriously. Ask them what would have made it easier to find. Make sure they know about the search features. Make sure the keywords they searched for are present. Consider the possibility that a refactoring may be called for.

Yet again, do this for everyone, routinely. It builds awareness of the Wiki, and sets the tone for the organization. Pretty soon, other people will start doing the same thing. Including your former “opponent”.

I think this pattern should be renamed. I'd suggest “Jujitsu”, but probably a lot of people wouldn't get the reference. But the key idea is not resisting and just redirecting, rather than counterattacking.

Posted by Bob.Kerns at Mar 05, 2008 04:17

talk/defendyourself.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/14 22:14 (external edit)