Intentional error is one of the original wiki adoption patterns pioneered by Ward Cunningham, creator of the first wiki. It involves intentionally making errors which are left for others to find and fix, thus getting them used to editing a wiki.


Ward used to get teams accustomed to editing the wiki by leaving intentional errors in pages (for example small typos, calculation errors etc). When users found these errors, they would say “This is wrong!” and Ward would politely indicate that yes – they had found an error and they should fix it themselves.

This gives users the “Aha!” moment (that moment when they realise they can actually change the wiki themselves) and gives them a sense of ownership over the team’s content.


When you’re editing a wiki page, just make some errors like misspelling a word or forgetting to capitalize at the beginning of a sentence. Then invite others to proofread your page and when they discover the errors, let them fix the errors themselves just by editing the wiki. However, be mindful that not all readers may recognize an error or choose to fix it, so introducing substantial or factual errors in content may prove to do more damage than good.