More on enterprise wikis

Some wiki links of late …

1. Socialtext Unplugged.

Socialtext Unplugged is an application within a single HTML file, which also means it is cross-platform. It downloads as a Zip file, but synching is through Socialtext’s Wiki Web Services.

Bob Sutor with excellent analysis on what this means for Office 2.0 …

That’s the wonderful thing about the future that Office 2.0 is nudging us towards: we already have the pieces! We may need some standards so we can make the different services work together better, but we’re on the right path.

2. Wikia announces OpenServing.

Wikia is launching a service offering free tools for people who want to build community websites. Interesting business model policy, letting the community sort out the business model 😉

FREE software, FREE bandwidth, FREE storage, FREE computing power, FREE content over the Internet, and GIVING AWAY 100% of the ad inventory and revenue to bloggers and website owners who partner with Wikia


Social change has accelerated beyond the original Wikipedia concept of six years ago. People are rapidly adopting new conventions for working together to do great things, and Wikia is a major beneficiary of that trend. OpenServing is the next phase of this experiment. We don’t have all the business model answers, but we are confident – as we always have been – that the wisdom of our community will prevail

Update: Stuart Froman focuses on the experimental free-flowing and adaptive approach Wikia’s following:

But if it’s experiments we want, then this is a good one. […] And will a sustainable business model follow?

Well, I would add that this setting may allow for the emergence of new businessmodels, where “emergence” is used in its complex systems sense, i.e. the emergence of patterns (business models) out of the interactions of independent agents … for some related ideas see my business model innovation and design blog.

3. Manuel Simoni notes challenges for wikis in the enterprise.

No Sense of Ownership: Information I put on a page could be edited away by tomorrow, and my pages seem to float in a boundary-less space beyond my personal control.
There are technical solutions to these problems (versioning and a personal dashboard, for example) but the feeling remains.
Unidentified ContributorsIt’s not immediately obvious who contributed what, which gives capitalists little incentive to contribute.
Again, there are technical (versioning) and social (ThreadMode) fixes, but they’re just that, fixes.
Shared State: As we move to an occasionally offline model of operation (e.g. Zimbra Offline client), where multiple users may edit the same page while all of them are offline, using a wiki with its simple-minded “all mixed up like Pasta Primavera” data model is asking for trouble.

Well, yes, see also 1. above for looming sharing and editing problems, where SocialText has given no answers yet.

Manuel proposes a system of intertwined weblogs, a collage approach to social software.

Still, I think wikis will have their place. So when people want to be recognized (and rewarded) for their contributions the way to go is a combination of blogs and wikis in an integrated enterprise 2.0 approach.

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