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Wikipatterns

I’m a little late to the party, and Julian has already posted about this, but in case you missed it, Atlassian have launched a toolbox for encouraging the uptake of wikis in organisations at wikipatterns.com. Good idea, and something I was mindful of when discussing wikis in the enterprise with a fellow delegate at the Lotusphere Comes To You session I attended on Friday.

Wiki adoption is a tricky business: we use a large enterprise wiki in our organisation, and overall a lot of people have “gone for it”. However, there’s a lot of talk about confusing navigation, strange wiki mark-up (certainly before we got a WYSIWYG editor in there), and so on. The thing that has struck me most is that a lot of people seem to want to use wikis as definitive reference-sites-come-document repositories. And we really suffer with the Empty pages anti-pattern.

Of course, this “all wiki, all the time” approach is our own fault: sites like Wikipedia do nothing to disabuse the casual browser that this is how wikis should be used. The “living document” paradigm is my take on successful use of a wiki. The additional bells and whistles can be really useful (not to mention cool), but at heart, a wiki for me is a simple (simple!) note pad that allows for inter-linking without any effort.

Comments

  1. Ben,
    Thanks very much for linking to Wikipatterns.com! I appreciate that you’re helping to spread the word!
    Stewart Mader
    Wiki Evangelist, AtlassianStewart Mader#

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.

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