25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment

 
 
By eweek  |  Posted 2007-11-21
 
 
 

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment

Here are some hard-won lessons learned from those who have implemented wikis at their organizations.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 1. Find the structure sweet spot

The use of Web 2.0 tools requires imposing some, but not too much, administrative structure on the collaboration environment. Too much structure inhibits innovation and interaction. Too little structure can devolve into purely social interactions, engen

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 1. Find the structure sweet spot

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 2. Set the tone early

As the collaborative environment is being established, people are looking for cues for how to interact. Establishing appropriate cues early sets the tone for interactions to follow. It is much easier to start on the right foot than to correct problems lat

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 2. Set the tone early

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 3. Reward exceptional contributions

Web 2.0 tools provide the opportunity to identify extremely valuable knowledge held by the 'crowd.' When members of the crowd do contribute valuable knowledge or insight, reward them for it.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 3. Reward exceptional contributions

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 4. Harness peer power

Allow colleagues to evaluate one another's contributions, even relying on them to distribute many of the rewards mentioned previously. Peers are often in the best position to evaluate a contribution and the work that went into it.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 4. Harness peer power

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 5. Don't chase the tools

Effective use of Web 2.0 tools for collaboration depends on both the tools and the community that uses them. New Web 2.0 capabilities are being introduced daily, and it can be difficult for even a tech-savvy community to learn to use them all effectively.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 5. Don't chase the tools

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 6. Know that most wiki contributions won't be valuable

Don't be discouraged if 90 percent of what the collaborative environment produces is not valuable to you or your business. The goal is to find the 10 percent that is truly valuable and that you wouldn't have found any other way. These are the ideas that

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 6. Know that most wiki contributions won't be valuable

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 7. Find at least one wiki champion

The wiki champion(s) will be responsible for creating awareness of the wiki and reminding others how easy it is to use.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 7. Find at least one wiki champion

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 8. Don\t overthink it, just do it

Youre not deploying a $100,000 content management system. Failure is a cheap option.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 8. Don\t overthink it, just do it

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 9. Capture information in wiki pages and e-mail URLs whenever appropriate

This is the easiest way to gain viral adoption in the enterprise.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 9. Capture information in wiki pages and e-mail URLs whenever appropriate

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 10. Keep the information organization simple

Overstructuring makes it hard and intimidating to add new content.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 10. Keep the information organization simple

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 11. Invite users to participate by editing or just commenting on the content

Provide users with a variety of ways to participate. A user who only feels comfortable commenting on content at first may evolve into one of your most prolific contributors.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 11. Invite users to participate by editing or just commenting on the content

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 12. Provide tools for users to subscribe to the RSS feed of the wiki

Nothing promotes participation like visible activity.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 12. Provide tools for users to subscribe to the RSS feed of the wiki

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 13. Reward activity

Create simple graphical reward badges for frequent contributions, moving a project to the wiki or any other activity that promotes adoption. Badges should be placed on the user's wiki page for everyone to see.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 13. Reward activity

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 14. Create navigation pages to guide browsing across the wiki

Support for dynamic content is a must here, as the content will remain evergreen.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 14. Create navigation pages to guide browsing across the wiki

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 15. Encourage users to personalize their own pages with widgets, photos and feeds

User pages are a great opportunity to experiment with features and gain familiarity with the wiki.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 15. Encourage users to personalize their own pages with widgets, photos and feeds

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 16. Whenever an opportunity arises, remind users to use the built-in wiki search

Most users already search the Internet but don't know that the same facility exists inside the company.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 16. Whenever an opportunity arises, remind users to use the built-in wiki search

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 17. Provide free reign to users

Let users make mistakes; good wikis make it easy to reorganize content.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 17. Provide free reign to users

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 18. Integrate your wiki with in-house databases

Integrating the wiki with your databases will allow users to create their own dashboards for daily activities.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 18. Integrate your wiki with in-house databases

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 19. Make the wiki part of the culture

Self-expression is important in teams and across organizations. Wikis are a perfect embodiment of self-expression that transcends organizational structure.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 19. Make the wiki part of the culture

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 20. Single all-encompassing wikis seldom work in the enterprise

With enterprise wikis, concepts of 'spaces' or 'projects' are almost always required.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 20. Single all-encompassing wikis seldom work in the enterprise

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 21. Security is a must

Granular security with the ability to specify permissions—even at the page level—is often required for enterprise wikis.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 21. Security is a must

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 22. Start with those who need it most

There is no single best practice on how a wiki should be rolled out within a large organization. However, it is often most effective to implement a wiki within those groups or departments that have immediate use for it. Forcing the wiki as a companywide m

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 22. Start with those who need it most

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 23. Let wiki adoption grow virally

As users within the organization send out wiki links or e-mail wiki pages, other users will get interested—or at least curious.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 23. Let wiki adoption grow virally

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 24. Define the scope of your installation

Some wiki applications require detailed configurations for advanced features. Make sure you know what users want before rolling out your wiki.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 24. Define the scope of your installation

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 25. Remember the rules

The older the wikis, the more frequent the accesses, the greater the number of lurkers, and the greater the number of participants.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - 25. Remember the rules

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - Sources

Gerald Kane, assistant professor of IS, Carroll School of Management, Boston College; MindTouch; eTtouch; Cyrus Christianson, Citrix Webmaster; and 'Corporate Wiki Users: Results of a Survey,' by Ann Majchrzak, Christian Wagner and David Yates.

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - Sources

25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment - See More Slideshows Like This One

Rocket Fuel