AP on Wikis

Associated Press on Wikis Offer Knowledge-Sharing Online:

Not everything maps that well to chronological discussions. How to do something, for instance, is the same now as next week and three years from now. If it’s in an e-mail from three years ago, I’m not going to remember that or find it. But editing a Wiki document can be cumbersome.

Major point! Stuff that doesn’t need to show a true discussion is great in a wiki. That’s my the New York Times uses it for their intenal IT documentation – plus, the version control rocks.

Internet security company SecureWorks Inc. has decided to abandon Wikis because its sales and marketing employees didn’t have the patience to learn. The few who did ended up burdened with having to make all the changes, said Nathan McNabb, the marketing manager.

Sounds like a crap-ass tech roll-out to me. I wonder if they piloted.

And setting up a Wiki typically means running a Web server and installing such software as TWiki or MediaWiki, though companies like Socialtext Inc. offer hosted services and are developing easier-to-use software aimed at businesses.

Oh please. I installed a wiki in 30 minutes the other day. And I’m no MSCE-freak.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle is cultural. Corporations are accustomed to hierarchy and control.

That’s the big point. Wikis – like email and blogs – can be a ‘democratizing force’ in cutting through barriers and middle managers. And if anyone hates being threatened – it’s middle management.

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