Collaborative Power via Wikis

The New Internet offers a number of ways to make your work day more efficient. While blogs are all the buzz right now my bet is that wikis will have a more profound impact in the office.

The reason? Blogs do have an interactive element, where thoughts other than the author’s can be shared (typically via comments or trackbacks) but they represent “one-to-many” conversations. More importantly, those conversations become archived over a very short period of time, forever disappearing from home or index pages.

There are commonalities between blogs and wikis. Both provide their users with simplified content management, putting the power of IT into the hands that matter most, content creators. But unlike blogs, wikis are a many-to-many collaboration tool, used in a much more “stable” web environment.

“Stable” because wiki ‘pages’ are static; content may change over time but URLs and navigation will remain the same. Considering that point, some sites run their entire web presence via highly customized wikis (check out OpenFormats.org – powered by one of our favorite wiki engines).

Ezra Goodnoe writing for InformationWeek describes this element of wikis as follows:

Wikis are structurally capable of handling conversation, but it is not their forte; instead, wikis excel at collaboration. They are intended to maintain a series of unique documents as their content evolves and to provide an organic means of organizing that information.