At the NSW KM Forum this evening, James Matheson from Saikore gave a presentation on wikis. James gave two case studies. The first looked at how wikis were introduced and accepted at Motorola via a grassroots, viral approach. The second approach was a structured, top down strategy at an Australian publishing company. He made some useful comments about the use and implementation of wikis inside organisations and what the barriers were to adoption.
James showed us the website for wikipatterns, itself a wiki, that provides information on different patterns of wiki adoption and use, as well as “anti-patterns” that focus on barriers. The wikipatterns site is connected with the wiki vendor, Altassian Confluence, although anyone can register and then input into the wikipatterns site. Wikipatterns favours the grassroots approach.
Whether grassroots or top down, the success of a wiki still depends on the people. People still need to decide whether to contribute and what to contribute. People also need to know why they should contribute. A wiki can be a useful collaborative tool but only when people choose to collaborate. An empty wiki is of no use at all.