11.28.2006

What Wikis Do

We love wikis. Seriously, we do. Utilized effectively, a wiki can transform team collaboration and communication from a serial process of back and forth email and IM into a parallel process of efficient editing and enhancements. SCG provides marketing strategy, planning and execution services to our clients and we've found that using a wiki for both intra-SCG and SCG-client communications is a fantastic way to go provided the client has a basic understanding of wiki principals and a willingness to follow our lead at the beginning. Here are a few basic things we've done successfully with our wiki workspaces:

  • Create a centralized document management space for versioning and storage
  • Create a centralized notes board for all client meetings and phone calls. Everyone present at the meeting or on the call can contribute directly to the notes rather than having to pass around word docs from one person to the next for edits. The difference is night and day. What's more, with a wiki it's possible for people to engage in a conversation via the "comments" feature about the notes specifically and the meeting in general. Doing so adds much needed nuance and detail to essential project documents.
  • Use the wiki as a place for brainstorming around messaging, positioning, etc. We've published draft positioning and messaging information to a wiki and then encouraged our client to use the wiki to add/edit/delete as they see fit. What can be a painful and seemingly endless cycle of revisions suddenly gets transformed into a couple of days worth of work where the client takes charge and ownership of the process without getting bogged down. Truly a great way to go for this kind of work.
These are just some of the ways in which we've incorporated wikis into our core client-service methodologies and processes. If you want to learn more, here are a few wikis we've used and liked: 1. Jotspot - For our money, the best business wiki platform on the market. As far as we can tell, Jotspot's got the most complete featureset of any wiki platform available today. Combine that fact with its elegant design and intuitive ease-of-use and it's the first site I'd check out if you're interested in incorporating wikis into your workflow. Expect to hear a lot more about Jotspot in the days, weeks, and months to come as they were acquired recently by Google... 2. Socialtext - Not a bad option for business wikis either. However, the featureset feels much more limited than JotSpot and it's also got a lot more "wikiness" to it that might scare away the less technically-inclined users on your team. 3. Wetpaint - A fantastic wiki platform for online communities and groups. We tried using it for a client but quickly discovered that the permissions scheme stops short of creating a totally private wiki. So, if you need a private space for collaborating, Wetpaint's not the answer. If that's not a concern, then WetPaint is fantastic and extremely easy to use. What's more, it's free so it's a great place to get your feet wet and experiment. This is by no means a complete list but rather a summary of our experiences with three different platforms. Got anything to add?

1 comment:

Jeremiah Owyang said...

I can boil it down to two words:

"Community Knowledge"