We’ve all used a wiki at one or another, either at work or on the Internet. The most popular example of wiki technology is wikipedia.org, everybody’s favorite online encyclopedia. Its most basic application is collaborative authoring, and this writer has been involved in the planning and authoring of wiki content using one “brand” of wiki – Twiki. But most wiki software works the same way.
A wiki is an application accessed in a web browser. It allows people to add, delete or change content in a collaborative environment. Wiki authors enter text using a simplified format and the structure of the information is usually created based on the needs of the participants. Wikis can be used to manage content and a single author does not typically control that content. Many authors contribute to the content.
Twiki is a wonderful tool and is often overlooked. However, smart companies know the value of this tool. Using a wiki to dispense and share information can greatly enhance the collective knowledgebase of an organization by allowing active and regular collaboration among software developers, writers, marketing staff and indeed, every department and employee. Everyone in an organization can post, read and add comments to coding notes, testing protocols and results, product specifications, internal documentation, meeting notes, scheduling, metrics and a whole lot more. It’s really simple: important information disseminated to more employees makes them smarter.
Wikis are often used as the basis for websites, presenting content to the public (Wikipedia) or even functioning as customer service portals where customers can post questions and issues and service reps can respond with solutions.
To summarize, most organizations could benefit from implementing a wiki in one form or another.