Wiki is not only Wikipedia
But back to the main topic of this blog: Corporate Wikis. Whenever i make an intro to non IT People about wikis, most think instantly of the website wikipedia. And why should a company have advantages from a fancy glossary….
First thing i reply is that a Wiki is not only an encyclopedia. A wiki is a website, where users can read but also edit the interlinked web pages using a WYSIWYG or a simplified markup language in the browser. A corporate wiki is one of the elements of Enterprise 2.0, other useful elements are blogs, RSS and Instant Messenging.
The majority of wikis are free and open source software developed collaboratively. Many wikis are modular, providing APIs which allow programmers to develop new features without requiring them to be familiar with the codebase.
There are lots of choices for Wikis available. So most companies try out a corporate wiki with the software from Wikipedia: Mediawiki or Sharepoint.
The company finds some interesting usage types for a corporate wikis :
- Documentation of the knowledge of your employees
- Operational Procedures
- Organizational structures
- Expert knowledge
- Documentation to custom software within the company
- Collection of Hints and Hacks
- Collaborative Work on Projects, Concepts and Briefings
- Documentation of projects
- Collaborative Collection of data
- Website Content creation
- Living Reports using different data sources
After a while the user find out that besides the requirements
- WYSIWYG editing
- full text search
- revision control
- email notification,
- PDF Creation
- RSS Producer
A company wiki requirement needs additional requirements like
- Page access control for departments or projects
- Easy usage for uploading documents (e.g. Drag and Drop) and editing
A video called “Wiki in plain English” can be found on youtube