Get wiki with it (Thing #15)

I especially like the site on “When to Use a Wiki.”  It was interesting to note that wikis work best for internal groups.  The advice on providing a clear nucleus also seemed very sound, i.e., provide some initial content to the wiki to get the ball rolling.  Not too sure about the notion that you need to have a clear final product in mind.  That seems too limited.  What’s nice about wikis is there open-endedness (is that a word?).  Perhaps what he meant is the scope of the Wiki should be clear, which makes sense.

In addition to the subject guide Wikis the Library is preparing to roll-out, I’ve been thinking it would be useful to have a wiki for reference questions.  Read about this somewhere a ways back.  Basically, library staff could use the wiki to track what resources they were able to find to answer a reference question.  Since we often get repeat questions, this might serve as a nice KM system and could be used to feed into the subject guide Wikis.  Of course, it’s pretty time consuming to maintain such a wiki, so the question is ultimately whether it would save time down the line.  Another wiki application in an academic setting could be the sharing of learnings from conferences.  For instance, everyone who gets TDW money could post their findings to a wiki as a way of sharing what they learned with the campus community.  This could supplement oral presentations.

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One Response to “Get wiki with it (Thing #15)”

  1. McMillan Says:

    I agree with your comment that although the main purpose of a wiki should be well-defined prior to its creation, wikis, simply due to their revisable nature, are meant to evolve in content.

    I have heard of some libraries using wikis as a reference archive, which is a great idea, although the potential problem that can arise in this sort of group work is a lack of clear standards. I think it may be necessary to have one point person who is responsible for keeping the wiki free of clutter and revising any content that does not clearly flow well in the information architecture or taxonomy.

    I also like your idea of using a wiki as a means to storing and sharing the work of the institution (i.e. conference proceedings). I know that I enjoy being able to access the content of a presentation that I might have missed on my own time, which is one of the driving forces of Web 2.0…access to information from anywhere at any time.

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