Wikis are the Instant Intranet


Since I received a few questions after my post: 43 Wiki Prank and the Whiteboard Test, I though I should add a bit of clarification. The underlying thought in that article was to pick the right tool for the right situation, and the whiteboard-test is just one trick to differentiate when Wiki’s are helpful vs. Forum, Blog ..etc software. It’s by far not the only situation when a wiki is invaluable.

Another example is setting up a living, breathing Intranet, one that people can actually use. Anybody who works in large corporations probably thinks of the IntraNet as a one-way communication channel for Management to talk (down) to employees. Getting your own content in? Forget it! Even when I was VP in a mid-sized organization and did not have wait for approval, I still had to talk to the IT Director, wait for him to fit it in his team’s schedule, then tell him what was wrong when my content finally showed up.

It does not have to be this way! Companies “own” (well, at least part of the day) the intellectual capacity of their employees, so why not put it to work? Even in the large corporate environment a wiki can be a lively collaborative addition to the Intranet (see the wiki effect by Ross), but for smaller, nimble, less hierarchical business a wiki is The Intranet.

At a much smaller organization I wanted to introduce a wiki for collaboration, for all the reasons explained in the video below. The company was a bit more old-fashioned, not exactly the early-adopter type. I expected some resistance against something with a geeky-funny name like wiki… so I simply announced we’ll be creating an editable Intranet. People started to use it from day 1, and few cared that the thingie behind is called a wiki.

David Terrar describes a somewhat similar story here.

Finally, the excellent video by JotSpot Founder Joe Kraus.

Other related posts:

Update (4/9): A really good guide to wikis by David Terrar.

Update (10/22): Here’s a case study of Confluence, the leading enterprise wiki being used as the ExtraNet.

Update (4/9/07): Read/WriteWeb on The Age of Instant Intranets.

Update (9/20/08)A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Intranet


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  1. […] from dead, or even in danger, and it won’t be any time soon. We just have to learn to use the right tool in the right situation. As usual, Rod Boothby says it better in a single […]

  2. […] from dead, or even in danger, and it won't be any time soon. We just have to learn to use the right tool in the right situation. As usual, Rod Boothby says it better in a single […]

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