10 Reasons to wiki

I’m speaking at the Potomac Forum at the Willard Hotel (Washington, D.C.) this Friday, October 16th. Its a how-to workshop focused on government – how to create a social media campaign, how to create effective policies, how to blog, how to engage with communities, and my subject – how to use a wiki.

It used to be that wikis were techie things where you needed to know a markup language or worse to use them. But times have changed.

The last time I spoke at the forum I asked how many people in the audience had never used a wiki – so – this workshop will focus on two things – 1) the mechanics of how to actually set up and use a wiki, and 2) why you might want to.

After defining what a wiki is, I’ll walk through some of the many uses of wikis:

1. Wiki as team roster.

2. Wiki as document organizer

3. Wiki as issues list

4. Wiki for FAQ

5. Wiki is the document

6. Wiki to get organized

7. Wiki to aggregate resources

8. Wiki to build a portfolio

9. Wiki to plan

10. Wiki as knowledge base.

Next, I’ll cover some rules of engagement:

1. Make sure you have a purpose, and that you’ve expressed it to your co-contributors. Focus is the key to success.

2. Capture your roughest thougts. If you do this, you’ll always be giving yourself something to build on.

2. Be appreciative when someone else contributes, and let them know.

3. Don’t forget to go in and prune.

4. The earlier you share, the more collaborative you can be. Once you or your colleague have formalized your thoughts, its much harder to change them, and much harder to accept well meaning critisicm. So – share while you’re still open to feedback, and comment while they are. Its very hard to put hours into creating something, and then have people point out its flaws. Its much easier to remain open to new ideas before you’ve invested too much in developing them.

Last, I’ll cover some of the features to look for in a wiki, depending on the purpose you’re after, and show some examples of great wikis.

If you’d like to learn more about how wikis can bring a new level of efficiency to a team, then register here for the two-day event, or leave me a note in the comments here.

If you’re new to wikis, or  just love a really good explanation,  this video is surely the best basic introduction to the wiki concept:

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