Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Quick Notes from the New Communication Forum

Posted by Candida Kutz - January 26, 2005

by Tom Foremski and Candida Kutz for SiliconValleyWatcher.com

Here are some quick notes from the workshop entitled “Forming Communities Online: Group & Conference Blogging & Wikis,” on the use of wikis and blogs within corporations to create online communities:

+ When you use a wiki for a collaborative project you can quickly identify who the slackers are because it is very clear who is working and who is not.

+ There are some interesting social effects that take place within organizations when wikis are used, and you might be surprised at how it affects an organization.

+ There are so many legal issues to be determined around who owns content, and how it can be used, that it can quickly get very confusing. Suggestion: Create a separate company for each project, which then separates it from the company's content and thus protects them from potential legal issues.

+ A wiki can be used as a knowledge base; and it rewards people who share knowledge instead of hoarding it. Previous knowledge management systems have all failed.

+ Don't be ambitious with a wiki project. Start off using a wiki for just one project.

+ Think of a wiki as a "room" where the users make the rules. They will be the ones deciding how it develops and how it looks.

+ Find a wiki gardener, to help encourage people to use the wiki and nurture its growth.

+ A wiki does not work well within a hierarchical top-down organization. It encourages a flat organization and you should let it build itself.

+ Consider the wiki as an adjunct to the blog.

Links:

Elizabeth Albrycht

Dan Forbush

Constantin Basturea

As an entreprise application, check out Socialtext

An especially easy-to-use wiki engine is EditMe

cd2156

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