Wikis at Work
For some types of business collaboration, a database can be overkill. Try a wiki instead.Sometimes a corporate database is just two-fisted overkill, with too many ties that bind. Databases, with their fields and their schemas, are often overly structured for the kinds of on-the-fly data-collection tasks many businesses encounter. Whats an alternative? Application wikis, hosted on the Web by a Silicon Valley startup called JotSpot. Some 100 information technology consultants at Dickson Allan, an IT consulting firm based in Troy, Mich., are using JotSpot to collaborate with each other across the companys seven field offices. Its a new tool, designed by JotSpot CEO Joe Kraus, one of the co-founders of Excite.com, and it builds and organizes wikis that are somewhat different from standard ones.
Whats a wiki? Derived from the Hawaiian term for "quick," a wiki is a small piece of server software that lets people freely create and edit Web content using any Web browser, then have it hosted as an archive on the Web. Think of several people at different locations contributing freely editable Web pages at the same Web location.