How Wikis Work Best

Hugh Macleod released the HughPage, a wiki for bloggers, yesterday. As always he concisely captures the power of a wiki.

“The Hughpage wiki is up and at your disposal….Just blogged about something that doesn’t have a section? Then create a new section by yourself. No need to ask first. Exactly.”

Like describing the idea of wikis in general, he concludes:

“This is either a totally great idea or a totally insane idea. Maybe a bit of both…”

(Yes, Working Pathways is listed in the Blog and Podcast Consultant sections.)

I’ve worked with wikis for project documentation and team communication. Their power is in their organic growth and how they put the responsibility of accuracy on the reader. When I talk with others about wikis, one question always arises:

What if somebody writes something that’s not good?

At the heart of a wiki lies 2 equal responsibilities;

  1. The Author is responsible for writing accurate, useful, and interesting things.
  2. The Reader is responsible for changing things to make them better.

For the most part, these 2 responsiblities quickly make a very comprehensive knowledge base. If for whatever reason they fail, there’s always rolling back to a previous version of the page.

On a related note, over at we’ve been playing with a wiki to create a Minnesota internet talent directory.

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