Stewart Mader is presenting on Wiki 101 during the nv08 Internet Bootcamp. Somebody asked him about what a wiki is, and he quoted a Business Week article that discussed various purposes of wikis. He mentioned that organizations are often hesitant to using wikis since there is fear about open access with rights.
Organizations can use wikis for keeping and updating agenda items, posting meeting minutes, and team participation with ownership of maintaining and revising content.
Stewart then spoke about a number of wiki tools and programs. I wish he would have had the names of the programs written on a slide or on the blackboard since I could not keep up with all them. I did catch wikimatrix.org, which helps people and organizations select which wiki tools to use.
He suggested running a pilot within organizations when bringing a new tool. Get a few people to begin using a tool and then spread it with a small group. This reminded me of the work in some of the quality and practice improvement work I do in my full-time position.
Wikis, to work, should begin with a BarnRaising so everybody begins together with using the new tool. This seems to be very collaborative, but my experience is that many people within organizations want the work to get done and assume others are “assigned” to do it.
He is using a number of “patterns” of wiki adoption, or rather terms that are used to describe the successful implementation of the wiki within an organization.
“If your staff is doing all this, then what value are you bringing to the organization.” If this is the case, then it seems that level of middle management is not valuable or really needed. This was in reply to a question I had about motivating hierarchical organizations to share in the collaborative environment of wikis. This is similar to the challenges of implementing and using knowledge management applications within organizations.