Friday, July 06, 2007

I Heart My Wiki

I have finally thrown myself into the wiki waters. And I love it. Bye bye Word.

We installed MediaWiki on our local server a couple of weeks ago and I've been using it to record everything I can for my e-Learning strategy project.

The kickoff meeting agenda and notes went in the wiki. Interview transcripts go in the wiki. Notes from conversations with staff members go in the wiki. Brainstorms and project ideas go in the wiki.

In fact, it seems like the Strategic Plan is being written in the wiki. You might even say it's being written by the wiki. It just sort of flows that way.

I started off cutting and pasting a lot of documents from Word into the wiki. Now I've left Word behind and am writing everything directly in the wiki. I've had to get used to the formatting -- or lack thereof. I'm a Word power-user and love all the little tricks and shortcuts. I miss them.

But the payoff is huge. All of my project information is in one place. I don't have to open 800 documents. I have links galore.

I feel like I've created an actual thing, instead of just a bunch of words on a page.

So far, it's been highly uncollaborative. Just me with my wiki love. Next week, we'll have an internal project meeting. Everyone will have to look at the wiki first. My sense is, they'll learn a lot and come into that meeting with great ideas.

I plan on creating a complete draft of the Strategic Plan in the wiki. Of course, I'll transfer that into an official looking Word document/PDF to deliver to the client. But I suspect the wiki itself will be part of the deliverable package. What a great resource they'll have. And it will serve a double-purpose in terms of educating them about the potential uses for wikis within their organization.

Yes, I love my wiki.

Photo credit: "One Heart" by Sanja Gjenero from stock.xchng


Michele Martin said...

Hey Cammy--See how addictive wikis can be? I really do believe that for many people and organizations it will be the personal use of wikis that propels them into more collaborative work with them. And they're just so much more flexible than writing in Word, particularly when you want to embed multimedia, etc. I completely understand the wiki love.

Cammy Bean said...

The biggest limitation that I see right now is that I can't upload documents or PDFs (at least I don't think I can). But perhaps that will come down the line.

I agree that it will be a process of Conversion by Example. Folks I have talked to resist the idea of the wiki -- they think wikipedia, they think "amateurs" trashing your content.

I take it upon myself to become an Evangelical Wiki-er.