Wikipatterns by Stewart Mader - Encouraging the Wiki Work Style
Wikipatterns is far more than a book about what a wiki is and how it can benefit your organization/community. It's a book of project and community support that happens to use a wiki. The book shines for the person or "communication committee" interesting in using wikis as a way of getting work done. Author Stewart Mader has extensive experience in using technology to support education, work, and non-profit companies. I've had the chance to meet with Stewart and came away with an appreciation for his approach. He shares his strategies with us all via the book and its accompanying wiki -- of course! What's a wikipattern? Stewart Mader and his wikipatterns.com collaborators value learning from example, specifically, learning from patterns of behavior that support or work against a wiki-supported work style. The book (names the patterns within the examples) and website (provides the definition, usage, examples, and possible steps) present the most common of these patterns and examples of their outcomes (about 100 patterns are described). People Patterns and People Anti-Patterns describe positive and negative individual behaviors, respectively. For example:
- Invitation: "One of the easiest patterns, simply invite users to interact with the wiki."
- Do it all: "Sometimes a Wiki Champion can over do it. If they don't trust other people to contribute to the wiki, they may feel the need to step in and make all of the edits and additions themselves."
- Wiki not Email (a favorite of mine): "Use wiki pages to replace email which either broadcasts information or responds to questions."
- Manager Lock Down: "This pattern refers to the situation where a manager takes ownership of certain wiki content which is particularly visible and unintentionally discourages people from changing their content. The result can be that other wiki users who wish to contribute become hesitant about what content can and cannot be edited."