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Why wiki

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on March 22, 2006 at 8:14:57 am

Wikis are good for:

  • Projects with limited timeframe and required lost of information sharing in documents (though Basecamp/similar might be better for many projects like this).
  • Refining a shared text in a trusted group.
  • Testing a concept on a vocal audience or market.
  • Collecting dispersed knowledge (of certain types -- see [elothtes.pbwiki.com] for an example -- into a single document. Criteria: (1) evolving data/narrative, (2) no need for a final polish.


Wikis won't:

  • Create community where it doesn't already exist (or can be easily defined from existing networks).
  • Manage conversations as well as a blog or other technologies.
  • Provide a well-organized data structure or design. They're more friendly potluck tha elegant meal.



Informal and unmonitored

Public, to at least some degree (people take public content more seriously)



  • Users do not write, edit, design, or create navigation with consistent rules--even if you try to set them out at the beginning. This is because people vary in how much they _care_ about structure and consistency. (The "Odd Couple" effect.)
  • Poor writers and people with trite ideas _do not_ necessarily realize it.
  • People whose skills or knowledge are superior often want this recognized--the best and brightest may be the least likely to contribute to a wiki.

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