Post some essential information exclusively on the wiki, and make it unavailable from any other source (for example on an intranet or internal bulletin board) to entice people to visit the wiki. The more familiar they become with the wiki, the more comfortable they become using and editing it. It ceases to be a “foreign” destination and becomes just one of their normal information sources.


You want to be cautious that “driving users to the wiki” is actually what you want to do (and that this obviously does not impact their job in a negative way). For example if content is relevant in a given context (for example machine operation instructions), removing them from the machine and putting them on the wiki is not a good use of this pattern.

If on the other hand the content is on your intranet, moving it to the wiki and linking to it from your intranet will get users (who are already at their web browser) more used to seeing and surfing the wiki. There needs to be a substantial amount of compelling information that causes people to want to return to the site and refer others to it. Some document repositories can (or should) be wiki-fied. Conversion of those documents would provide both a source of content and contributors who have a stake in the wiki. Encourage people to contribute in small chunks, by implementing the “1-minute” model (take no more than 1 minute to write down an idea, suggestion or information and add it to the wiki.)


Put your next meeting agenda on the wiki instead of emailing it to everyone as an attachment. Encourage people to modify it as they see fit, i.e. rearranging the order of items, adding notes, URLs, etc. During the meeting, record the meeting minutes directly on the wiki, and encourage everyone to add their own notes as well. This way the wiki becomes the place to track activity in the group. Using the wiki to collaborate on projects discussed in the meeting then becomes a natural outgrowth from notes about them in meeting minutes.

Related Patterns

  • FAQ – FAQ is another good step toward the magnet pattern. Having people write an FAQ on anything, from dept. workflow to specific projects gets them to try editing the wiki and starts the movement of important content onto the wiki.
  • Scaffold – as the magnet pattern draws people to the wiki, the scaffold pattern gives them direction on what content to add to pages.
  • Viral – Establishing an effective Wiki normally requires an active community of contributors. The Viral pattern can lead to a rapid explosion in the number of users, but it is often difficult to generate a “critical mass” that ignites such an explosion. Without such a critical mass, the Wiki will often fall into dis-use.