2010/Best Practices for Wiki Adoption

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Session: http://opensourcebridge.org/sessions/460

Wikis are easy as pie to install, edit, and even to develop. The real challenge they present is in bringing together the right people in the right way to make things happen. There are ways to tackle that challenge that can give your open source community a fighting chance.

Speakers: Steven Walling, Ted Ernst

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Contributed notes


4:45 - 5:000

Introduction

5:00 - 5:15 Patterns

http://WikiPatterns.com

  • Have a Mission (one simple statement) - this is the invitation for the community of people you are trying to attract.
  • AssumeGoodFaith
  • BeBold and Leave the front door open (source control example)
  • Your wiki is not Wikipedia
  • Welcoming - not a robotic 'Tom from MySpace' but a real welcome - noticing what someone has done on wiki.
  • 90-9-1 ratio (Readers, Contributors, Dedicated Contributors)
  • WikiGardener / Champion / Ambassador (usually this is Community Manager in a corporate or more formal setting, can be anyone really)
  • BarnRaising - getting a group (even just a trio) to get their hands dirty with one attainable task. Comes from the Amish.
  • A code of conduct (Do you need ground rules?) and Choose a License (Mention in passing)
  • Naming conventions (CamelCase as one) - how are people going to build their common language?
  • BackChannels - not necessary but could be helpful for the anti-pattern (Related: All wiki all the time.)

5:15 - 5:20 Personal Anti-patterns

  • You can't use "all wiki all the time", so why are you using it? [S]
  • Not magic, i.e. Build it and they will come is the big myth of wikis - they are so easy to edit, they are easy to create - but a wiki community is about people, people, technology and people. [T]
  • Wiki is not a dumping ground or document repository. Of course wiki works as a living space for describing things as they are (like Wikipedia or AboutUs). But don't forget wiki is great at tapping into the emergent creation of something that is yet to be (WardsWiki - Portland Pattern Repository). [S][T]

5:20 - 5:30 Q&A

A question about the viability of attaching Word documents to wiki pages and importing revisions from MSFT Office.

A question about enterprise wiki adoption, specifically automating wiki gardening activities. Enterprise adoption is much harder than other communities. Automating some of the tasks of the Gardener may be part of the solution.

How do we complete the feedback loop of go to wiki->info not found->find info somewhere else->update wiki?