A wiki is a powerful tool.
A blog posting and an article are my inspiration for today's thoughts. Christee Gabour Atwood, who blogs on Succession Planning Basics - an important HR discipline - supplied some thoughts on using a wiki for HR purposes in her KM Tip of the Week.
IndustryWeek published an article this past Friday, Seven Strategies for Implementing a Successful Corporate Wiki, that has suggested that by 2009, 50% of organizations will use a wiki as an important collaboration tool. The IW article goes on to suggest 7 important strategies for using a wiki.
And circling back to Wikipedia......back in 2005, when I first researched the somewhat open doors of Wikipedia, there were 500,000 articles in English. As I write this today, there are 2,192,000+ English articles - over four times the number of articles in less than 3 years.
Wikis help serve two fundamental needs. The first is the desire of each of us to help our fellow man by sharing our knowledge (made very easy by a wiki), and second, we all crave knowledge to help us in business, in our personal lives, or just to satisfy our curiosities.
The IW article identifies some of the requirements and strategies for the creation of a successful wiki, but an important piece that is often missing (having observed some successes and some failures in wiki implementations in the past) is need...there has to be a reason....some pain-point that is best served by a wiki. A whim does not a successful wiki make. In the absence of this strong need, very little advice about using wikis will help in creating a lasting, living, growing body of knowledge.