Re: Wiki #wikis

Gardner, Mike <Micheal.Gardner@...>

I don't claim to be an expert in this area but hopefully this may help.
I believe there are fundamental differences between a wiki and a discussion thread. Wikis are meant to be a common area for a group of folk to work together to deliver something. As I see it they are meant to be a place where someone produces an outline, then others collaborate together to enhance that deliverable to (hopefully) make it a better deliverable. I therefore feel a wiki is something that has a defined purpose and is not something that goes on forever. For instance, if we as a group wanted to put together our recommendations on how to use wikis to support a community, we might use a wiki to do this. Someone could start with an outline and the rest of the community could come in and edit it. If we realized we started discussing blogs within the wiki we may decide we really need to create a separate wiki for those and pull that material in to a separate wiki. Once we are happy with the results the wiki can be marked as complete or turned in to a formal document.
Discussion threads provide the group with a more general focus to discuss ideas, concepts and possibly even thought on what might be a useful wiki to work on together.

Mike Gardner
EDS CIO EKM Team - EDS Taxonomist & Content Rationalization Leader
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From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Dale Arseneault
Sent: 31 July 2008 04:05
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Wiki

A colleague of mine pointed me to an interesting post titled Resource Fetishism by Jono, who is Ubuntu Community Manager for Canonical, and looks after the world-wide community of Ubuntu contributors and developers. (Ubuntu is a community developed Linux-based operating system).

In his post, Jono paints this common problem:

Its funny how the same approximate process seems to happen for many communities, and sub-communities in projects. It happens a little like this:

  • A new team forms from a small group of enthusiasts.
  • They create a raft of resources - version control, repositories, mailing lists, IRC channels, bug trackers, councils, forums etc.
  • A discussion happens on the new mailing list about which website CMS to use.
  • The discussion lasts approximately a month. There are many opinions. Bickering ensues. It turns into a Drupal vs. Wordpress war.
  • Two months pass, little has! been achieved other than yet more CMS arguments archived to the Internet.

So, I read the thread that this post triggered, and I can't seem to see the core reason for the sikmleaders wiki in the first place.  We seem to have gotten trapped in our own Resource Fetishism.

Can anyone enlighten me - what would we do with a wiki?  why do we need one ? (regardless of the technology)

Dale Arseneault

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