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How do you make a Wiki work?

Following up on my post about Wikipedia, I read an article in Eweek, 25 Tips for a Better Wiki Deployment that seemed interesting, but hardly earthshaking. In my view building a successful wiki depends on a confluence of events, mainly a problem or subject that lends itself to the format, and the willingness of users to contribute and maintain the content that addresses that problem or subject. I think Wiki's excel at answering questions, but that assumes you are asking the right question! It's very common in forum posts for someone to ask a question after not being able to find the answers via a search engine because they were using the "wrong" word or phrase, where someone with more experience often finds the answer right away because they know the words.

I've been looking at Wiki's out of curiousity - love the technology, but still not sure I recognize all the value everyone else does. I need to capture and organize a bunch of information about conducting a SQLSaturday, would that work well in a Wiki rather than the Word doc I'm using now? My doc representation is serial, start to finish, can I build a wiki so someone can follow the information the same way, or extract it and order it the same way? Or is that anti-wiki?

I think wiki's succeed just like Sharepoint does, not because of the technology, but because it enables (dare I say empowers) non IT users to post useful information on the intranet. I'm looking for a wiki project just to try it out first hand, but waiting for one that seems like a good fit!


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


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