Contributing to Collaborative Book Editing

Zoli Erdos notes that collaborative editing a wiki book like Wikinomics does not come easily:

that page content is not growing as much as comments are. I guess it’s easier to talk about it than actually doing it

Add this to what I’ve noted here on the benefits of short, modular and open content.

A sound observation, well, anyway he also offers sound advice to encourage participation and collaborative work, basically pointing out that wiki participation will flourish when people are bold. I would sum this up as people that have confidence, are knowledgeable, have time to invest. Overall competencies of collaboration, which entail also some other virtues …

“Being bold is necessary advice in wikis: most people aren’t accustomed to editing each other’s sentences. In a wiki participants must be bold because it is only by many iterative edits that mass intelligence can occur and wisdom can triumph over verbosity. If we are bold the content will evolve.”

Implications for enterprise knowledge management with social software are clear: A central success (or failure) factor of KM implementation is people (and organizational culture …), determining the circumstances and preconditions for emergence.

Yes, this comes at no surprise – but it’s always worth recalling!

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