Tuesday, November 27, 2007

IT Comes up Huge!

Last week my chances of getting a Wiki installed behind the firewall were looking terrible. I actually refocused on hosted solutions because the notion of installing MediaWiki behind the firewall was shot out of the water at first. Luckily we have a fired up tech support guy who is dying to get a Wiki up and going so that he can update it with the latest tech support issues that come up. He was persistent enough to find a solution that all parties are happy with and MediaWiki is now installed behind the firewall. The ball is now in my court to make it useful. Where do I begin?

I was so focused on just getting buy in for a Wiki that I didn’t put much thought into the actual development and implementation of the Wiki. So, what are the keys to success in a Wiki implementation? Based on experience I would say the most important factor is creating a great base of content to show the organization what the possibilities are and then come up with a way for them to be excited about it so that they will jump in and use it. It would be a good idea to come up with some kind of contest or release event that brings a lot of attention to the Wiki.

One idea I have had so far that should generate a little interest in the Wiki is to create an online scavenger hunt that will require the participants to find certain information in the Wiki. This would help them realize the great information that is available and how easy it is to access. Quia makes it really easy to make an online scavenger hunt that would be perfect for this exercise.
In addition to a scavenger hunt I will need something that requires them to post or edit information in the Wiki.

Once they see how easy it is to find answers to the Wiki they need to see how they can contribute to making the Wiki better. This is where some kind of contest could come in to play. The organization has a large sales force and a good contest idea would be to enter their most effective sales technique. The techniques entered into the Wiki could be judged by the VP of sales and the winner could win some kind of cool prize like an iPod.

But before I worry about getting people to use the Wiki I need to start writing out the content. I am going to start out by cruising through Wiki’s and developing opinions of what works and what doesn’t. I need to see how the information is presented so that it is made useful. I have plenty of material to work with but I am not exactly sure of the best way to present it. My goal for now is to research what makes a good and bad Wiki and develop a content layout plan from there.

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