Grasping the Concepts and Benefits of the Wiki
I immediately grasped the full potential of wikis many years ago. Fred Wilson admits it took him a little longer but he is completely on board now. In his evangelism, he points out the many characteristics that make wikis great in society and busienss. What I would like to know is what finally did it for him. Was repeated exposure to Wikipedia the entry drug?
Several months ago, I blogged about wikis and even co-presented a proposal at work that we use a wiki as our intranet. The presentation was to a group of technology professionals and I thought for sure our demonstration showed the benefits of turning the intranet (currently just a bunch of links that no one really uses) over to end users. We showed how sales folks could post competitive information, proposal templates, and success stories; engineers could post configurations and schedules; and anyone who wanted to stick a personal page or a team page out there could do that as well. We were going to decentralize the intranet and provide a framework so that if the users wanted to arrange it in a manner that made sense to them, they could.
But alas, only a couple of people bought into our vision. For some, I’m sure it was a first exposure to wikis. How could I have better sold this idea? I’m not sure. I believe the communication strategy was appropriate and the audience was definitely ready to hear this message. The hardware requirements were nil and the software was free (MediaWiki on top of LAMP). I refrained from showing Wikipedia in our presentation because it is seemed a little too abstract from our business to make that leap.
So I’ll put this question out to you – as always, you can contact me directly if you don’t feel like doing the typing in the small comments box below – how did you introduce the disruptive wiki into your organization? What made it ‘click’ for your company?