Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wiki at the company

Wikipedia is the panacea of online collaboration. It is an Encyclopedia that organically gets written by collaborators all over the world. Anyone can edit an article. The natural law of online collaboration, just like pure capitalism and economic laws, ensure that the information is valuable and accurate.

The question is, can a Wiki be of use in the enterprise? The answer is yes.
A Wiki can be used to enhance productivity by enabling collaboration internally. For example, for a software company, software developers can share a space where codes get stored, best practices get fine tuned, diagrams are edited and available for the entire team, and users can post comments or bugs. If your company is in the retail industry, the marketing department can have a Wiki for communicating marketing campaigns, editing logos and ads, consolidating projects data and showing market research output data. If a wiki is used internally, it can enable collaboration and enhance productivity as a by-product of that.

Though a Wiki can also be used externally. That is, for customers to interact with a Business Unit, or with the company directly. Though few companies do this today, you can have customers access a Wiki for providing feedback on your products, requesting support, or just as a communication medium. Then it also becomes a revenue generator tool.

The bottom line, and major benefit of a Wiki is that it is very low maintenance. Unlike a full blown website that has to be designed, encoded, maintained and updated by someone, a Wiki is a framework that is created, maintained and updated by everybody. Instead of having a single person or entity carry the maintenance of it, the law of online collaboration does it all. It is cheap to implement, and enhances productivity.

One great open source platform for running a wiki is Twiki.... and for more information on wikis, got o Wikipedia's definition of a wiki.

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