Re: MediaWiki Demo

Subject: Re: MediaWiki Demo
From: "Jerry Muelver" <jerry -at- hytext -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 21:52:20 -0500


From: "Michael Collier"

I hope dumb questions are allowed in this thread, because I think I have
one or two. Or three... :-)

What exactly is this, and what is it for? How can this benefit tech
writers and our audience?

thanks :-)


I have used wikis in intranets for tech doc development since 1998. You can do real-time documentation, following the latest software twists, turns, and builds, and get instant feedback on the correctness of your understanding and expression. For global enterprises, wikis allow around-the-clock collaboration among specialties scattered around the world. You can take software design specs, post them as the project outline in a wiki, and begin to annotate the specs into user docs in full view of the entire development team, making early tweaks in the roughest form where changes are cheap, instead of trying to correct directional misconcepts just before release when they are reallyreally expensive.

I've also used wikis for training scheduling (and class enrollments) management, and taught the administrative office personnel how to edit pages to update enrollment figures, closed classes, change announcements, travel and lodging instructions, and the like. I've produced style guides and employee handbooks on wikis, with the benefit of instant review and editing comments from project stakeholders on a dynamic, incremental basis.

I wouldn't consider working on a multi-author project without a wiki framework to make things go. Take a peek at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page to see how wikis can work to compile, organize, and present factual information.

---- Jerry Muelver
Techwriting Patterns Wiki - http://twpats.hytext.com/cgi-bin/patsauth.pl?Home_Page

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