Why and When a Wiki Won't Work Weally Well!

Wiki's have been a success for several years now in the public space, using the wisdom of crowds and collaborative knowledge creation.

For the last few years wikis have also been making their way into the enterprise space as well. Solutions like Socialtext, Atlassian's Confluence, MindTouch Deki and Traction TeamPage are now being used by many different sized business and government departments.

The phenomenon is now attracting researchers, interested in understanding how wikis are being used and adapted in this area.
  • My own research is looking at what sort of corporate cultures assist in wiki use & growth.
  • A german team of researchers at the University of Bamberg are looking into organisation wiki use from a SNA point of view using Social Systems Theory.
  • Researchers Janus Boye and Dorthe R. Jesperse published a report earlier this year showing that wikis are taking off in the corporate world, but care should be taken in the areas of culture and structure to avoid some of the pitfalls of an open system when used for content management.
Many commentators are also discussing how they can be improved upon, either through growing the technology itself, or by better implementation, as Stewart Mader's site often covers.

Simon McDonald posted a nice article summarizing his negative (and positive) experiences with wikis on evolt.org.

Today I found a blog post by the "Wikis in Organisations" team talking about what mistakes to avoid when implementing a wiki. Great advice and follows the idea of The Mistake Bank I came across a little while back.

All of this fits with Dave Snowden's constant reminder that we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. I am starting to agree.

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