Wikis are a collaboration tool. They are especially important for geographically dispersed companies and their project teams. This tool enables users to add, edit, link, and save content easily at any time and place. Multiple people can view and edit the document at the same time and many wikis have a chat feature as well, increasing the collaborative element.
Why use a Wiki?
Wikis are helpful in business because they provide an efficient, easy to use platform for discussion, development, idea exchanges, and other forms of collaboration between employees. It’s important to note that wikis are extremely simple and easy to use, this reduces the technological barrier of use for employees that aren’t tech savvy. This tool is also used to centralize information: spreadsheets, PowerPoints, Word documents, and all other content by simply linking to the wiki. The use of wikis also improves employee morale by showing them that they are trusted by management and their input is valued, and by creating an even playing field for all employees involved to contribute. Martin Seibert, a specialist in wikis and web 2.0 technologies, lists 111 reasons why enterprise wikis are useful.
Another important aspect is that wikis automatically save edits and changes, so if the document is accidentally erased or someone wants to restore it to a previous version, this can be done rather simply. Wikis are very inexpensive, and some options are completely free. Teale Shapcott’s September 19 blog post discusses wikis for internal communication efforts and has a helpful case study of Intellipedia as well. There are many options for wiki software, including Googledocs, pbwiki, wetpaint, and wikispaces.
Wikis in Plain English
This Common Craft video helps explain the basic features of wikis.