Patterns for successful wiki use

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A WikiNoob is a user who is definitely pro-wiki but lacks a fundamental understanding of the wiki culture, process and features. As a consequence, this person will make use of the wiki in a way that attempts to replicate unnecessarily the pre-wiki ways of doing business. This can be caused by resistance to change, ignorance of wiki features, or both.


  • manually writing revision information onto each wiki page instead of using the built-in versioning feature
  • creating unnecessary deep hierarchies of children pages (instead of flat structures) in an attempt to replicate/enforce a former unidimensional classification pattern (often seen with too much structure pattern)
  • duplicating information (copying documents on the wiki while still promoting their external source)
  • requiring approval stamps for each edit (instead of trusting the “watch this page” collective ownership)
  • labeling everything with “DRAFT”, as if all pages might eventually be finally approved or frozen
  • polluting core information content with large numbers of project meeting minutes wiki pages (instead of using a news-blogpost type of feature or a similar date-archiving system to store minutes and news separately and chronologically)
  • repeating page title and document cover page information at the beginning of every wiki page
  • continuing to create the Word documents you used before the wiki and uploading/attaching them to wiki pages, instead of creating/editing wiki pages.
  • many more… (please feel free to add more)


Unless critical mass adoption has already occurred and overcomes the pattern, this may be hard to solve from within the wiki itself and may later lead to Wiki unproductivity if not addressed in time.

A WikiGnome will not suffice. One solution is for a WikiZenMaster to become friend with the WikiNoob and slowly and gently educate him to the best practices and better ways of conducting business in a wiki environment.  This approach is limited by the availability of a WikiZenMaster and may not be sufficient in situations where there are many [WikiNoobs] and few [WikiZenMasters] .

wikinoob.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/28 14:48 by splitbrain