|What's different about Wikis|
|Making it Work|
Wiki software can create websites or subsites that are optimized for crosslinking and contextualization of information. Perhaps the most famous wiki site is Wikipedia, which makes it easy to find information, but does not use a particularly friendly platform for a non-technical person to create or edit content. But the site does demonstrate how millions of pages of content with thousands of discrete facts, images and other media can be made intelligible.
Wikis, if thoughtfully structured and carefully customized, provide easy access to multiple parties to easily share, edit and update information - and all of the changes can be tracked from version to version. This functionality is very different to and distinct from the functionality found in regular websites, which are top-down. Even blogs that allow posting to the site do not typically allow the text by the original author to be changed. While the most famous wikis are open - and what is meant by that is that they are accessible to anyone - for corporate use it is possible to carefully tune access settings so that users or the public can be excluded, individual pages can be password protected, hidden, or visible and individual pages or sections visible but not editable, partly editable, or totally open. Additionally, multimedia can be incorporated and notifications structured to a selected audience both as push email or RSS.
The world has come to expect information to be easily shared across organizational and geographic boundaries for collaborative purposes and ideally with changes easily tracked and shown. For these purposes, wikis are unbeatable.
Perhaps more importantly in this tight global economy, wikis shine at managing technical information and can enable an organization to leverage its content and technical expertise through that information. But this requires an effective - and integrated - communications plan that can take advantage of that information and wiki functionality for premier marketing outcomes.