Wikis Are Wonderful - Or Are They


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A look at how became a wiki driven company. How the wiki impacted every facet of our business and the lessons learned.

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Wikis Are Wonderful - Or Are They

  1. 1. Wikis Are Wonderful, or Are They?
  2. 2. Wikis are everywhere – General Knowledge Wikis
  3. 3. Wikis are everywhere – Special Interest Wikis
  4. 4. Wikis are everywhere – Personal Wikis
  5. 5. Wikis Are Easy To Use <ul><li>Easy to set up </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to Edit </li></ul><ul><li>So simple that anyone can contribute to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Just load, populate, and go. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Wikis Are Just Cool <ul><li>Enabling collaboration. </li></ul><ul><li>User generated content. </li></ul><ul><li>Tagging </li></ul><ul><li>Built in version control and change tracking tools. </li></ul><ul><li>The next step in online publishing? </li></ul><ul><li>Its so Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>It may be fine for Wikipedia – but what about using a wiki in your business? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we use them in OUR business? </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><ul><li> - a brand of Quadralay Corporation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 15,000 licensed users in 33 countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 2000 Companies use WebWorks products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focused core staff with a common vision. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry leading Publishing Platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Founded in 1992 as part of UT Technology Incubator Program. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We see ourselves as a “mature start up” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our Mission Is To Help You Deliver </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Your Content. Your Way. Every Time.” </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. No Matter How You Publish – ePublisher fits Input Type A Input Type B Input Type C Multi Sourcing - Merged Multiple Inputs to Multiple Outputs Output Format 2 Output Format 3 Output Format 1
  9. 9. WebWorks a Wiki Company? <ul><li>Do we develop and sell wiki software ? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NO </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>So why are we a “Wiki Company?” </li></ul><ul><li>Because wikis drive our business. </li></ul><ul><li>We have 4 in operation with at least one more to come on line in 2008 </li></ul>
  10. 10. WebWorks & Wikis – A History <ul><li>2003 – First wiki was installed for use by the software development team. </li></ul><ul><li>2005 – Project Trac wiki was selected for use by Services Group to communicate with customers. </li></ul><ul><li>2006 – Internal and External wiki software ( Moin Moin ) selected. </li></ul><ul><li>2006 – Dev Wiki expanded to become company wide “ Inner Wiki ” </li></ul><ul><li>2007 - External “Help Center” wiki launched ( </li></ul><ul><li>2007 – “proof of concept” wiki publishing demo at RoundUp </li></ul><ul><li>2008 – RoundUp wiki launched ( </li></ul><ul><li>2008 – Documentation wiki project underway. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Fount of All Knowledge – The Inner Wiki
  12. 12. The Inner Wiki <ul><li>Replaced static Intranet pages with interactive “knowledge capture”. </li></ul><ul><li>Used for every aspect of company business. </li></ul><ul><li>If it isn’t on the wiki it doesn’t exist. </li></ul><ul><li>90% of staff have contributed </li></ul><ul><li>80% contribute at least once a month. </li></ul><ul><li>50% contribute something several times a week. </li></ul><ul><li>One Hours training backed up by a lunch time brown bag after restructuring or software upgrades. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased cooperation </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced training costs </li></ul><ul><li>Shortened sales cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps everyone informed. </li></ul><ul><li>The depository of record (no more email chases) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Inner Wiki - What We Learned <ul><li>Encourage contribution through social means. </li></ul><ul><li>If want people to contribute then YOU have to contribute. </li></ul><ul><li>Some people just will not contribute – don’t force it. </li></ul><ul><li>Give verbal feedback on contributions. </li></ul><ul><li>Have senior people review contributions every day. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep wiki as open as possible – encourages cross functional communications. </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis need maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>We should have defined at least a basic structure first. </li></ul><ul><li>Design for the culture – not the process </li></ul><ul><li>You need a WIki Maven – someone passionate about maintenance and upkeep of the wiki. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Help Center Wiki
  15. 15. Help Center Wiki <ul><li>Purpose – to promote information exchange with and between customers </li></ul><ul><li>Initially populated by WebWorks staff </li></ul><ul><li>Development and Support Engineers systematically continue to add content. </li></ul><ul><li>User contributions </li></ul><ul><li>User enhancement requests </li></ul><ul><li>User Projects area </li></ul><ul><li>Just-in-time documentation updates </li></ul>
  16. 16. Help Center Wiki – What We Learned <ul><li>User login administration </li></ul><ul><li>Change structure from Developer Centric to User Centric </li></ul><ul><li>It takes cheer-leaders to bring others to the wiki. </li></ul><ul><li>How do we differentiate between what’s “official” and what isn’t? </li></ul><ul><li>Enable comments rather than editing rights ? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you collect the feedback? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you integrate with other documentation sources? </li></ul>
  17. 17. RoundUp Conference Wiki
  18. 18. RoundUp Wiki <ul><li>Last year found managing and updating static HTML pages linked to main website a bottle neck. </li></ul><ul><li>Needed ability to do quick updates and makes sure only latest information posted. </li></ul><ul><li>Open to multiple authors who are responsible for different aspects of conference organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow speakers to update and post information as needed. </li></ul><ul><li>It also serves another purpose… </li></ul><ul><li>How well does a wiki work as a website? </li></ul>
  19. 19. RoundUp Wiki – Lessons Learned <ul><li>Harder to give it corporate look and feel </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to update text – not so easy for graphic design work. </li></ul><ul><li>Turning off the visible wiki edit controls makes it look more like a website but means extra steps for contributors. </li></ul><ul><li>Still early days and compiling other points. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Services Project Wiki
  21. 21. Services Projects Wiki <ul><li>Used to facilitate communications and knowledge sharing with services customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Single point of contact / single source of information. </li></ul><ul><li>Description / Contacts / Scope / Notes / Reference Materials / Deliveries log. </li></ul><ul><li>Timeline of edits </li></ul><ul><li>Project Roadmap with milestones. </li></ul><ul><li>Task Ticket creation and tracking. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Services Projects Wiki – Lessons Learned <ul><li>Small amount of additional training for customers at project start. </li></ul><ul><li>Transcribing costumer e-mails </li></ul><ul><li>Once working – speeds communications </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone on project works from same data </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages collaborations </li></ul><ul><li>Speeds project review </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces costs. </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Latest WIki -
  24. 24. The Documentation Project <ul><li>Six month project to rewrite our documentation set. </li></ul><ul><li>Using specialist outside author who is “power user” of product. </li></ul><ul><li>Project managed using the Project Wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Authoring done in structured FrameMaker (DITA) </li></ul><ul><li>ePublisher will populate out to new wiki - </li></ul><ul><li>Invite contribution, feedback from MVP/SMEs in user community. </li></ul><ul><li>This will be a development test bed for DITA / Wiki publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback process being designed. </li></ul>
  25. 25. So Are Wikis Wonderful? <ul><li>Wikis are easy to start and easy to contribute to. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t expect huge contributor numbers – even Wikipedia has a less than 1% contributor rate. </li></ul><ul><li>Passionate people will share – that can be good – it can be bad. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t need to be a “code jockey” to start and write a wiki. </li></ul><ul><li>Every branch of publishing is looking at wikis. </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis need planning </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis need management </li></ul><ul><li>Initial population can be an issue. </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis will do for online publishing what HTML did for online authoring </li></ul><ul><li>So what’s our next step with wikis? </li></ul>
  26. 26. WebWorks ePublisher & Wikis <ul><li>ePublisher FALL 2008 release </li></ul><ul><li>included </li></ul><ul><li>Productized “PUBLISH TO WIKI” functionality. </li></ul><ul><li>Publish your Word, Frame or XML content to a wiki </li></ul>
  27. 27. Wikis really are everywhere –