How can startups benefit from wikis
"The size and importance of Wikipedia today is the best evidence of the potential for wikis," said a post on corporate wikis from Pumacy Technologies, a provider of knowledge, process and innovation management. Companies can also benefit from wikis, even if the Wikipedia principle should not be transferred one-to-one. The framework conditions must be adapted to the company, corporate culture and organizational structure. Which solution is the right one has to be decided depending on the application, the authors write in their article on company wikis.
The use of a wiki in the company causes active communication between employees and helps with the analysis, structuring, expansion and transfer of knowledge, experience, competencies and networks within the company, according to the article by Pumacy Technologies. In addition, wikis should also support the process of informal learning.
According to the authors of the article, Confluence is the most popular commercial company wiki. One of the strengths of Confluence is that it is very widespread and is already used in many companies and that it has a rich text editor that is very similar to the functionalities of Microsoft Word. The software also includes a search engine that allows you to search through all content - including attachments.
- Document wiki
DokuWiki concentrates on the core functions of a wiki and should therefore be very easy to use. DokuWiki is especially designed for the development of documentation. Because of the low server-side system requirements, it is suitable for small to medium-sized wikis. The target group of this solution are mainly work groups, development teams and small companies. One of its strengths is the access management, it allows to define access rights for the entire wiki, individual areas and pages, as well as for user groups and individual users.
- Drupal Wiki
Drupal Wiki supports simple content creation, it requires a database for storage. In addition, many good discussion options such as blogs, forums and discussion pages are integrated. According to Pumacy Technologies, Drupal Wiki has a sophisticated rights management system, the search functionality has been expanded and also enables attachments to be searched. Further functionalities include a document management system and project rooms.
According to the authors of the article, the most popular wiki software is MediaWiki; the open source solution is constantly being further developed. What should be emphasized at MediaWiki is the high level of user-friendliness and the readable design. According to Pumacy Technologies, discussion pages are characteristic, which are attached to each article, and separate user pages for all registered users. However, there are disadvantages in corporate use: The existing role management should be very rudimentary and limited to three groups of users (anonymous, logged-in users and administrators). The expansion of the role management system and access restrictions are only possible through extensions.
TWiki was mainly developed in Perl and does not require a database to store content. All content is saved directly to files, but this can lead to security problems. TWiki should offer a simple user rights management, which also allows a simple integration of external users, and the solution enables the versioning of stored content. However, the authors of the article see the disadvantage that the TWiki community has become smaller and less active after the division of the community and the creation of Foswiki. The further development is therefore also limited.
Foswiki emerged from the spin-off of the TWiki community and is a further development of the TWiki platform. Pumacy Technologies describes the strength of Foswiki and TWiki as the simple programming of applications using metadata. The functionalities are similar to those of TWiki.
- Microsoft SharePoint 2010
The contributors have added Microsoft SharePoint 2010 to their list as the eighth solution. Strictly speaking, this software is not an independent wiki, but an enterprise collaboration platform with the option of setting up wikis in it. You do not recommend setting up SharePoint just because of the wiki functionality. In a SharePoint environment, you can set up wikis not only for individual teams but also for the entire company. In addition, it should be possible to configure the rights system in a very differentiated manner.
Experts believe that it makes sense to use it in organizations that carry out knowledge-intensive work and where the majority of employees have access to a computer. The size of the company does not matter - wikis can be used in smaller teams as well as across departments. In general, working actively with a wiki works better with flat hierarchies and in a corporate culture that is as open as possible.
There are many different wiki tools that are specially designed for use in companies. The solutions range from simple products that concentrate on important features to powerful software systems that contain many functions and thus go far beyond the original wiki core functions. Pumacy Technologies recommends the comparison portal WikiMatrix, on which the properties of numerous Wiki software solutions can be compared to help with the selection.
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