Creating Demand-led Wikis
31 January 2008
A wiki is a good collaboration tool but persuading members of a team new to wikis to use them effectively is a difficult problem. There are guides for wiki administrators and users, one of the best being www.wikipatterns.com and its associated book at Amazon.
Reading a new blog today from Michael Idinopulos he mentions this problem and gives some advice. Being from the business discipline he applies the concepts of supply and demand to wikis and thus comes up with a demand-led approach to wikis. For the creator of the wiki this implies adding a modicum of structure and some wiki page stubs to hint at proposed content to be supplied by the rest of the team. He suggests:
- Get a small group of core community members to whiteboard a high-level information architecture in the form of a few categories (not more than 4-8) and subcategories (not more than 1-2 levels deep)
- Create a series of blank pages or “stubs” hyperlinked to reflect the category structure
- Assign each category to an individual member of the group to flesh out
- Reconvene in 1-2 weeks to review what everyone has done, share learnings, and revise the category structure
A team leader for a blog might even perform step 1 alone and then receive feedback for the community in step 4. This seems like it is worth a try.