2008 I(o)LP– April 2008 Wikis: Managing, etc.

Now that we are at the end of the traditional western calendar year, I am looking back at some posts that were not quite ready for prime time.  I hope they interest you and provide some enlightenment and entertainment these last days of 2008 and first of 2009.  Looking back, this was a really good session, I should have posted back in April.  Now, I fell guilty.  Dang.  Well — here it is.

April 2008: CIL Session named Wikis: Managing, Marketing, & Making Them Work Some formalized notes some of the post contains just notes.

Chad Boeninger (His Blog) Reference and instructional librarian at Ohio University Libraries spoke about wikis and how to manage, market and using them. His BizWiki is here. This is a summary of his presentation. As soon as I find it, I will place a link to it here on this post.

He created this presentation because a number of librarians asked him how to make wikis work for them. He used wiki technology as a collaborative tool to communicate with users while putting together as subject guides across a network.

First, a caveat, remember to define a purpose or problem to figure out if you do need a wiki or are their other tools that may work better for you.

Why did Ohio use a wiki? The library had a network drive which developed different knowledge silos on their network drive. Staff wiki helps keep information in one place. If someone leaves, their knowledge is not kept in their silo

They use their bizinfo wiki as a public subject guide. This met their need to keep their information accessible and organized even though expert staff were not there or still at the library.

How do you choose which software to use for your wiki?

The site wikimatrix.org offers free assistance to compare wiki farms and software to see which one best meets your needs. Categories, better organization

Locally hosted Options

What is required?: Experience, Desire to experiment, Ready to get your hands dirty customizing the look and feel, Data lives on YOUR server.

Wiki Farms and Services

Why use a wiki farm?: for new users, they are nice, require little technical knowledge and when they upgrade, your wiki upgrade. Also a good place to start.

What did they use in Ohio?

They ended up hosting their wiki using mediawiki for all of their wikis. This allowed them to keep a consistent look throughout their wiki’s. They also went with mediawiki because if anyone knows how to use wikipedia, they would be able to navigate their wiki.

So, now that they choose a tool, how did they structure the wiki?

Well, this is the hard part. Provide struction and content so your users can find things quickly on the wiki.

After you structure your wiki , you will probably need to encourage folks to change it. You have to essentially say “Ok here is stuff, you go edit this now.”

No one will know what to do with your wiki if you don’t have a purpose or have some content. Feel free to steal your ideas from others. The wikiIndex is a great resource to find various wikis. He encourages you to check them out and steal the way they are organized.

What do I put on first?


Just start with the old content cut and pasted onto site;
Seek input from users for additional content and layout;
Provide Help Page on your Wiki…..a wiki text help page;
Provide more help via a screencast to help folks do basic things on your wiki;
Add content yourself: Try to think of what to add and when to add it to your wiki;
Use your wiki to communicate information and create a knowledge base.
Encourage others to add content;
Let others add content.
Don’t get feelings hurt and don’t demand perfection! Its ok if it does not look perfect.
Force staff to add content to wiki.
Have buy in from higher up bosses to direct staff to add to wiki.
Provide even more help. There is never too much help offer in person and to give immediate help.

How to promote your wiki?

Teach off of wiki. Use the collected knowledge during presentations.
Add desirable content — What resources do your users need?
List open desk hours on the wiki.

Your wiki MUST be flexible. MUST BE FLEXIBLE
you should be too
have realistic expectation for use
dont be surpised if users use the wiki otehr than intended
users may use it, but may not contributge.

How easy is it to add content? Add content on the fly to your wiki.

Kernels not corn…instant response to information requests.

On the FLY CONTENT from email to content on wiki in 30 minutes

Here a wiki, there a wiki. Should you system collect a wiki? or have individual Create google custom serach for diparate wikis.

WHEN IS A WIKI DONE….It is never done…always growing and changing. A static wiki defeats the purpose of the wiki. Maintian links create new pages, edit old ones to unsure viablity of wiki
How do you know it is still alive

Lesson learned Reasonable expectations of users, use. they may not think it is as cool as you do.

can be adapted to meet your needs
Wikis save time
require contributions and edits.

aol yahoo im cfboeninger

for more informaton ohio libraries business blog.


About (almost) Bald Trainer

A trainer in Maryland
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4 Responses to 2008 I(o)LP– April 2008 Wikis: Managing, etc.

  1. I like the idea of finishing lost posts! Gee…wish I’ve kept mine. I generally delete if they have gone un-posted for a few months. The mood is gone.

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