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Wikify your Doc Set: A Writer's Role in Web 2.0

Wikify your Doc Set: A Writer's Role in Web 2.0



Learn from other examples of wikis used for end-user documentation. Evaluate the advantages and known limitations of using a wiki. Determine if simply adopting wiki-like technology would be sufficient ...

Learn from other examples of wikis used for end-user documentation. Evaluate the advantages and known limitations of using a wiki. Determine if simply adopting wiki-like technology would be sufficient for your environment. Get some judo moves for defending your stance for or against a wiki.



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Wikify your Doc Set: A Writer's Role in Web 2.0 Wikify your Doc Set: A Writer's Role in Web 2.0 Presentation Transcript

  • A Technical Writer’s Role in Web 2.0 Wiki-fy Your Doc Set
  • About Anne Gentle
    • Senior technical writer at Advanced Solutions International, makers of iMIS which is the membership system for STC. Blogger at www.justwriteclick.com. Started researching wikis at BMC Software on my talk.bmc.com blog. Working on the One Laptop per Child documentation using FLOSS Manuals.
  • About you
    • Your turn. What are you here for? Let's make a wiki - justwriteclick.pbwiki.com
  • What a wiki can do
      • Originally created in 1995 for making quick web pages
      • Cross-platform, cross-browser
      • Encourage collaboration - simultaneous edits
      • Encourage crowdsourcing and customer's view point
      • Living, breathing, changing documentation
      • Easy linking to other wiki pages
      • Subscription-based RSS feeds of recent changes, "watch" pages for edits
      • Easy searches within the body of the wiki
      • Scalability  - many pages edited by many authors
      • May save on customer support calls (eBay wiki)
      • Customer might expect a wiki when a customer forum isn't enough
      • Open source products often use wikis (Apache wiki)
      • Registration and log ins can control authoring privileges
  • What a wiki can't do
    • from Wiki for Dummies
      • Don’t go on wiki suicide missions
      • Wikis don’t have magical powers. They cannot create camaraderie where none exists, nor can they streamline an out-of-control operation. They are not powerful information magnets, nor will they make your team better writers, more organized, or more intelligent. In short, without a strong guiding hand, wikis are useless.
  • Community and wikis
    • How can you build a community around a wiki? Let's investigate motivations for contributions from Peter Kollack's The Economies of Online Collaboration
      • Reputation
      • Reciprocity
      • Attachment
      • Efficiency
  • Reputation
    • Will your customers appear expert in your product if they contribute to your wiki? This type of motivation is especially important to consultants. Make their contributions shine so that they will return with more scenarios.
  • Reciprocity
    • What will your customers receive in return for their contribution? Borrow a point system from your customer support forums, perhaps? Points can be traded in for t-shirts or registrations to user group meetings or conferences.
  • Attachment to and need of a group
    • How will customers feel part of your team or part of your support team, if that motivates him or her? Association with a cause - wiki.laptop.org.
  • Increased sense of efficacy
    • How will customers save time or money by contributing to your wiki? Consider a knowledgeable expert who feels she answers the same question via email over and over again. http://isnwiki.jot.com/WikiHome/Articles/111111431
  • Test yourselves - which motivation is in play?
      • I like to see which online forums have the quickest response times to questions.
      • I help out on the message boards because I know I’ll have a question that I won’t be able to answer, and I will get help when I need it.
      • When I was new to this technology or tool, someone helped me, so I want to help others who are just starting out.
      • I’d like to switch careers so I make sure my online answers are sharp and quick.
      • To promote and grow my consulting business, I’m learning more troubleshooting techniques by helping out with the scenarios that people bring to the community.
  • More stories - which motivation do you see?
      • I’m running a Google AdSense campaign based on the popularity of this product, so I know people will be coming to my site for answers. I’d better be sure the answers are there.
      • I just really like to see others succeed based on the help I’ve offered.
      • I’m pleased when someone from across the world expresses gratitude for a solution to their problem.
  • Does wiki-fy have to mean wiki?
    • First and foremost: Build a sense of community Adaptations on a theme - comments, wikislices, internal wikis Online forums Feedback from customers always looping to your source files
  • Wiki best practices
      • Build a wiki style guide
      • Offer wiki how to guides
      • Set rules for arbitration
      • Integrate the wiki with other content
      • Ensure that your wiki has original content
      • Beware of spammers, and back up often
  • More wiki best practices
      • Keep updating content
      • Conduct audience analysis
      • Offer training sessions
      • Become a member of the community
      • Recruit other internal reviewers
      • Category maintenance
      • Watch recent changes
      • Expect small percentages of contributors and value them highly
    • What are your suggestions?
  • Wiki Patterns
    • Stewart Mader's website and book of this name are extremely helpful for spurring wiki adoption. Patterns describe a certain solution to a problem in a context. To avoid problems, you want to follow a model pattern or be on the lookout for anti-patterns.
  • Case Study – FLOSS Manuals
    • Why did you choose a wiki?
    • What type of wiki are you using?
    • How are you using the wiki?
    • What changes have you seen as a result of using the wiki?
  • Barn Raising Pattern – Book Sprint
    • Like the Amish community, set aside a day to build.
    • From zero to book in five days.
    • Inkscape
    • One Laptop per Child and Sugar ->
    • Digital Foundations ( video )
    • Firefox
    • How to Bypass Internet Censorship
    • Introduction to the Command-Line
  • Examples of technical documentation wikis
      • Adobe Labs: labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
      • Apache wiki: wiki.apache.org
      • eBay (now gone): www.ebaywiki.com
      • Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN): msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/default.aspx
      • Motorola Q: www.motoqwiki.com
      • Everything Q: wiki.everythingq.com
      • SplunkBase: www.splunk.com/base
      • Sun's OpenDS: www.opends.org/wiki
  • Where do I go next?
      • Wiki tools research at wikimatrix.org
      • Wikipatterns website for adoption and people patterns
      • Meatball wiki
      • Answering Tough Questions about Wikis podcast on TechWriterVoices.com
      • Wordpress.com wiki tag
      • ffeathers.wordpress.com - technical writer at Atlassian, makers of the Confluence wiki
  • Back to our wiki page for questions
    • justwriteclick.pbwiki.com