Wiki Patterns

Patterns for successful wiki use

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What is it?

The trellis pattern involves getting people to contribute to a wiki page because the content is simply too lacking in density and quality of information. A person should respond to the trellis pattern by saying “I know there's more to this than what's written there.” and adding what s/he knows about the topic. This improves factual accuracy, and enriches the content on a wiki.


The trellis pattern can be especially good for capturing tacit knowledge - the crucial information people store in their heads but often fail to share with others. (Organizations lose untold amounts of knowledge when employees leave, and asking them to write down what they know during their last two weeks only salvages a small fraction).

In general, the trellis pattern is a good way to capture information that you probably don't even realize exists.


Create a page on a topic for which you want to collect as much information as possible. Post what you know, but leave the page without much detail, and ask others to look at what you've written so far. They'll likely add a significant amount of content in short order.

  • Intentional Error - 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

trellis.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/14 21:14 by