Corporate wikis seem to be a good idea in theory, and to date, there’s no hard evidence to prove otherwise. Since corporations are complicated ecosystems, unified knowledge is just as crucial as unified communication. Wikis take care of numerous issues that could arise with other means of knowledge sharing, like seminars or e-mail circulation.
The topic of discussion over corporate wikis is not so much over why wikis are beneficial – this information is fairly obvious – but how to go about successfully integrating the tools into the work environment.
Wikis have proven to be useful in many other industries for the same reasons why they prove useful to corporations. One example is how wikis are used in the scientific community. Wikis are used to speed up the process of treating diseases like Alzheimer’s, as recently seen with Selventa Healthcare’s project.
The project is called OpenBel Consortium and it utilizes Selventa’s Biological Expression Language so that data can be computed from a public platform.
A statement recently circulated under various headlines including, “Wiki While You Work,” features a couple of researchers from the University of Alberta who believe corporate wikis are ideal for knowledge management – as long as two key elements are in place: Allowing users the option to remain anonymous, and incorporating a rating system.
According to the report, “Part of the attraction of the wiki is its anonymity,” the work environment could get hostile if everyone is aware of who is making the contributions and who is editing them. The workplace is a competitive environment consisting of many people who are competing against each other for certain promotions or pay increases.
But these are the same reasons why some would want their name out there. Contributors should be allowed the option either way.
There should also be some sort of user rating system. Not only will a rating system assist in maintaining the validity of the content, but it could also direct users of a specific department to information that is most relevant or helpful to them.
If someone from sales gave a higher rating to a particular entry from IT, for instance, other people in sales might find the particular entry especially useful as well.
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Edited by Braden Becker