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chamilto0516's Journal: Anti-Wiki

Journal by chamilto0516
I am trying to setup an internal general-use Wiki for my entire company. We currently have twenty five (25) wikis on our MoinMoin Wiki server but they are all department aligned. I am getting some resistance to using a generic company wide name along with some quetions about our purpose. In the process, the "Wiki Administrator" actually comes back with this rebuttal:

As to the larger issue, a single generically named wiki is not what people want. Also, it's not practical. Who owns the home page? Where do I find things? Who controls the placement of information? Who sets the naming standard? Who cleans out stale information? The usability of such deteriorates rapidly. Information simply gets lost. This isn't Wikipedia. By the way, the desire for multiple Wikis exists well below the department level. We have received several requests from several departments for multiple wikis, each targeted at a small subset of their activity. I call em Boutique Wikis :-)

I couldn't help but rebute every singe line:

single generically named wiki is not what people want

Uhmmm...I thought WE were people and have been asking about it. If I am just a person then if there were some other individuals then we would be a group of people that could be called just 'people' for short. Oh, and we ARE asking for a generically named wiki.

Also, it's not practical.

I looked it up on http://en.wikipedia.org/ and got the feeling it is practical.

Who owns the home page?

Everyone

Where do I find things?

All Wiki's come with the built in automatic pages named: RecentChanges, TitleIndex, WordIndex, FindPage, WantedPages, OrphanedPages, AbandonedPages, RandomPage, PageSize, PageHits. Will they not help in finding things?

Who controls the placement of information?

Everyone can help control and maintain it. It is worth a try. Name one other system at our company that has limited bottlenecking control and is perfect. Try something different. This might work.

Who sets the naming standard?

The naming standard is already mostly done with the concept of WikiWords. The remaining work is trivial because page renames and link changes are simple. The system will report on which pages refer to PageOne and FirstPage and tells you where to fix them. I do it now but not because I have special privileges, I just understand Wikis.

Who cleans out stale information?

If anyone can then anyone could. If I could get rid of crappy unused portlets on our intranet portal and create new and better ones that I would but there is no facility to do that. There is no facility to tell me which ones are old and no privileges to let me. AbandonPages and WantedPages are the answer to that. Ironically our non-Wiki like current content management system is the king of stale information

The usability of such deteriorates rapidly.

The original Wiki on Software Patterns was started on May 1, 1995. I went there and I am not really seeing the deterioration.

Information simply gets lost.

Then search for it, find it and put it back where it belongs. Please see the "Where do I find things" response above on how this is possible.

This isn't Wikipedia.

No, you are right, they understand Wikis and how to use and host them. But we use portal software and we are not Yahoo, we use search but we are not google (ok, bad example, we don't really use search that well) but you get my drift.

the desire for multiple Wikis exists well below the department level.

Only because NO ONE is in charge of knowledge management for it to come from the upper levels and based on the horrendous point that follows, the lower levels do not understand wiki's either.

We have received several requests from several departments for multiple wikis, each targeted at a small subset of their activity. I call em Boutique Wikis :-)

It was at this point, I passed out

Am I off base here? Are corporate wiki's a flop or is this really about something else like lack of control?

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Anti-Wiki

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