Top 10 Organizational Wiki Tips (and how to use them)

  1. Grassroots is best. Start from the bottom-up so people build a sense of ownership of their wiki contributions.
  2. Throw out the rule book! Don’t start with a lot of structure and rules. Make a wiki available, then see how people use it, and grow accordingly. Follow the lead of the people using it – that’s at the heart of how social software works!
  3. Populate it and they’ll come. Put content on the wiki; direct people to it using email.
  4. Wikipedia does not a wiki make. Don’t mistake your wiki for Wikipedia. Yours doesn’t have to be anonymous and open to the public.
  5. Go to the source. Put some content exclusively on the wiki so people get used to it as the source of information.
  6. Don’t rush it. People will need time to get used to the wiki, and once they do it will grow significantly.
  7. Trust me. Don’t excessively manage it. A wiki doesn’t have complex approval mechanisms for a reason. Trust people to write quality content and they will.
  8. Go back to the future. People will find new ways to do old things with the wiki. Embrace them and encourage additional operational improvement.
  9. Ask the wiki. Prompt people to use the wiki. When someone asks about creating space for a project or revising a document, encourage them to use the wiki.
  10. Beware the derailers. Watch out for obstacles, like someone who takes content out of the wiki and emails it around, or someone who organizes others’ work a little too much. Help these people understand how to use the wiki more productively so they don’t inadvertently hinder its growth.
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