Wiki Patterns

Patterns for successful wiki use

User Tools

Site Tools


Your wiki isn't Wikipedia

Since Wikipedia is the most well known example of a wiki, people new to the idea of using a wiki in an organization or enterprise can be highly influenced by Wikipedia's pattern of use.

Unless an organization intends to replicate Wikipedia's application in their organization – building a corporate encyclopedia that is entirely open – it is helpful for new users to understand the difference between using wiki technology for their specific need and using Wikipedia, which is but one application of a wiki.

Adoption issues include:

  1. Application or Use – The wiki can be applied to a wide variety of specific uses that are fundamentally different from an encyclopedia. New users benefit from seeing a variety of applications – sales processes, technical documentation, work group collaboration, event planning, etc. – so that they can visualize how they might use the wiki. One of the first steps is to show new users these possibilities. A picture is worth a thousand words. :-)
  2. Open versus Secure – The openness of Wikipedia can actually frighten some new users when they envision using a wiki in a large organization where sharing information is based on more traditional mechanisms – conversations, meetings, email – which they have some control over. Although less control and security can make a wiki a more powerful social network (reference/link to Key Success Factors or Tips for Making Wikis Spread), new users need to know that security can control access at several levels, depending on their requirements. Vandalism, for example, which is a quite common problem for Wikipedia (in terms of people intentionally deleting content or damaging it), is more unlikely to happen in an intranet environment, since users there all should be registered (and ideally working for the sake of their company).
  3. Quality, Accuracy, and Moderators – Many new users question the accuracy of Wikipedia and then extrapolate that perception to the creation of a wiki in a corporation or traditional organization. For starters, new users can benefit from Nature's comparison of Wikipedia and Brittannica to debunk some of the myth of Wikipedia's overall accuracy. More important, new users need to understand that the wiki is merely a tool, as is their email, their word processor, or anything they use to do their work. The wiki is no more or less accurate than these other tools. It is simply a new mechanism. The social nature of the wiki actually offers the opportunity to have higher accuracy. Last, wikis can include a feature such as 'mark for review', or have moderators to monitor quality.

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tour/your_wiki_isnt_wikipedia.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/14 22:36 by splitbrain