Here are some hard-won lessons learned from those who have implemented wikis at their organizations.
225 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
325 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
425 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.
525 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.
625 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.
725 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
825 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.
925 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment – 8. Dont overthink it, just do it
Youre not deploying a $100,000 content management system. Failure is a cheap option.
1025 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.
1125 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment – 10. Keep the information organization simple
Overstructuring makes it hard and intimidating to add new content.
1225 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.
1325 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.
1425 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.
1525 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.
1625 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.
1725 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.
1825 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment – 17. Provide free reign to users
Let users make mistakes; good wikis make it easy to reorganize content.
1925 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.
2025 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.
2125 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.
2225 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.
2325 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
2425 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.
2525 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.