Wiki Patterns

Patterns for successful wiki use

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Support emergent behavior

As use of the wiki grows in your organization, it's important to make sure people feel comfortable trying new, unexpected ways of using it.

The exercise of introducing a wiki and shifting core activities to it offers an opportunity to examine existing processes, workflows, and ways of organizing information. Forcing people to rigidly apply existing processes to the wiki is likely to make it unsuccessful, as these ways of working may run counter to peoples' discovery of more efficient methods.

Especially when people are first getting used to the wiki, it's important that they do it in a way that helps them see how it works, even if that means the first information they put on the wiki is something seemingly trivial like directions for shipping a package.

People should be encouraged to find the role that best suits them, since this is an important factor in how well they engage with the wiki. For example, a person who likes to fix typos, find citations for quotes, fix broken links, and add links where appropriate is referred to as a WikiGardener or Gardener. A person who likes to train others on how to use the wiki, and help them get started with a new wiki site is referred to as a Champion .

People who volunteer to be involved with the wiki should be especially supported since they likely have the curiosity and open minded approach that will make them influential in building a successful collaborative community. Leaders on the wiki don't necessarily have to be the people with official titles offline.

For example, if one member of a team shows the most initiative and enthusiasm about the wiki, the manager of that group might designate that person the point person for wiki for that team. The point person might then be responsible for recurring activities like posting the first version of the staff meeting agenda, and training other team members on the wiki.

⇒ Next: Watch out for obstacles

tour/support_emergent_behavior.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/14 22:42 by splitbrain