Are You Wiki ?

What is that supposed to be ?

Some new Internet Extravaganza ? The next nightmare you will live when your children will ask you whether they are allowed to start one ?

Internet is innovative. As you know well if you felt even a tiny amount of dejà-vu when you were reading the previous sentences, this can sometimes lead to misunderstandings, or a feeling that everything goes too fast. This is quite true. New products appear on a regular basis and keeping up to date can sometimes look like a constant struggle. And that is why the aim of this blog will be to present a new way of communicating by using IT means off expression that is more than likely to take-off widely in the years to come.

In fact, in some ways its spread has already started. Wikis are appearing in many companies and there is no surprise here, for one of the main advantages they provide is about cutting off a frenzy of unnecessary e-mails and transforming it into an useful and readily exploitable source of information.

Think about this : instead of, say, 10 of 15 mailboxes closed to each others where the same mail is present in various states of advancement, updated (- or not, for who knows whether the accountancy department did not send a mail to the management team about those marketing expenses...), put a single web page. A web page that any involved person could edit and keep relevant. Where three linked discussions are at last put in the same place. Where information flows and get available. Where you can instantly tap into the knowledge of colleagues not overloaded with emails. Where ...

Now stop thinking. This web page exists, and it is called a wiki (for the record, the name comes from an Hawaiian word meaning "quick"). You may certainly have heard of Wikipedia, the online Encyclopedia that anyone can contribute to and that covers an unbelievable range of topics with an accuracy that has not yet been proved significantly faulty? You can do the same thing within the boundaries of your company. Get everyone to contribute to the common knowledge, assess the relevance of ideas, and maybe even see your reborn Intranet while you are still alive (even if it is difficult to believe, this has already happened in many societies around the world).

Do you feel interested ? The best is still to come. Wikis are the most efficient ever tools when it comes to team-working. They are hosted on an external server and necessitate nothing else that any web-browser to be accessed, which means that you can work on them from everywhere, at any time. You will not have to wonder any longer about coordinating with your team during your next week-long business trip to Sydney. Real-time means that whatever modification you make appears instantly and can be taken into account by other people.

And, last but not least, think about building consensus with your 15 mailboxes (and as much contradictory opinions) ? Here everyone can argue his position in open ground, and only those who resist the careful examination of everyone subsists (no more "sorry, I did not get your last mail" when a disastrous launch strategy is planned). Dialogue has replaced arbitrary behaviour.
And the final written piece you get is almost ready for exploitation (no new quarrels arising during the formatting process).

These are some of the most prominent features that you can expect from wikis. It might be time to start trying them, shouldn't you ?

Want more ? Stay tuned.

© Guillaume Lerouge for WikiBC