When most people hear the word wiki, they automatically think about Wikipedia.It has become synonymous with the word, for better or worse. But wikis are not solely for Wikipedia.
Wikis are open source software that can be used to create wiki-style websites, useful for storing knowledge and sharing expertise.Many organizations are already using wikis. If one is considering using it for their organization, here are some facts to keep in mind.
Why Use a Wiki?
Many organizations find it difficult to properly transfer information from one resource to another. It is also problematic to figure out how to keep valuable information current. Wikis can be the answer to those questions.
Simple Source of Information
Wikis are useful to organizations because they are very easy to set up and maintain. And when a wiki is set up, editing it is even easier. They turn into valuable sources of information for everyone in the organization.
Say a couple has some internal information they want every employee to know about. Or they want to catalogue a history of the organization’s various departments.
A wiki would be the perfect place to store, maintain and update this information. When people need more information, they are just directed to the wiki!
One of the major issues for companies is that information printed out at the start of the year can become irrelevant a few months later. Instead of constantly needing to print out new versions of documents, or send out updated PDFs, everything can be done through the wiki.
When an employee needs specific information, they will know the wiki is providing them with the most accurate version of the information they are seeking.
Some organizations find the concept of a wiki scary. In the past, organizations were structured around keeping information behind closely guarded; the fewer people that had all the information, the better. But the world has changed a lot. The economy has changed and the way companies do business is different.
It is better to have information available to everyone in the company. And when companies are open in this manner, the type of information they collect improves.
When an employee reads a particular wiki page, they may have knowledge that can be used to add to or improve on what is written on that page. When such collaboration takes place, companies can only benefit.
Major and important organizations around the world are embracing wikis. The intelligence staff in the United States have three distinct wikis that run on separate networks. These wikis are used to share information and other data among intelligence officials.
If the intelligence community can embrace wikis, there is very little excuse for other organizations. The era for trying to keep information a secret is over. The world is in an era when sharing information among those who need to know it is helpful.
And it is not as if organization wikis are available to anyone. They are a closed environment where only employees have access. They are safe, useful and easy to maintain databases of information.