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Wiki Wacky

Wiki Wacky

Welcome to the wonderful, egalitarian world of the wiki

Wikis represent the ultimate in true democracy. They recognize that almost everyone has something valid to say

I strongly believe that IT practitioners should take a conservative approach when it comes to the adoption of technology. My views have been influenced by two factors. When I was an IT salesman it was obvious that those who sold the older and more established products were more successful. Then during the InTEP forums the best case studies in IT nearly always revolved around implementations of established products.

That said, every now and then something comes along that makes me go "wow". One such example of the wow factor for me was when, two years ago, a good friend recommended Wikipedia. Today this is my favourite Web site. If I want to spend a spare moment surfing the Net then Wikipedia is a treasure trove of trivia that can keep me amused for, sometimes too many, hours on end.

But I believe there is much more to the wiki concept than idle amusement. Wikis represent the ultimate in true democracy. They recognize that almost everyone has something valid to say. They are not static documents. Each contribution enhances the product. This, surely, is what collaborative computing is meant to be about. Team members who cooperatively build comprehensive, corporate resources.

Yet it appears that CIOs' enthusiasm for wikis is at best lukewarm. According to studies by Nemertes Research, only 37 percent of enterprises in the US are using wikis. Even in the academic world the embracement of wikis appears to be slow. When Associate Professor Andrew McAfee demonstrated the new departmental wiki to his Harvard Business School colleagues he commented that they were so startled by the technology that "all of these leading scholars in their fields looked like a bunch of deer caught in the headlights".

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More about Collaborative ComputingHarvard Business SchoolMcAfee AustraliaSickWikipedia

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