Re: Wiki as a documentation delivery system

Subject: Re: Wiki as a documentation delivery system
From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 21:54:59 -0700 (PDT)

We use a Wiki internally. It's supposed to be for
distributing information among the development staff.

You don't have to convert anything to a simpler format
for a Wiki. Just put the products somewhere on your
intranet and have an index or some kind of access list
that provides links to them. In our Wiki we don't try
to put the documents in directly - we just give HTML
links to them.

You might have good luck with a Wiki used by
customers. Using a Wiki for distributing information
inside a software development company is a waste of
time and effort. Not because it doesn't work (it does)
but because of the nature of the software developer.
They won't bother using the Wiki if they want to know
something. They'll walk over and talk to somebody, or
they'll ask each other to email copies of some paper,
or they'll put articles in public folders in Outlook.
Software developers seem to have a genetic resistance
to using any information distribution system.

The Wiki system we have was selected, installed, and
put in operation by the lead software engineer - one
of their own - and he admits nobody ever bothers to
use the dern thing. We tried a "knowledge capture"
effort when it first went into effect. Everybody was
required to put together a list of topics that were
important in their work, and/or that they were
proficient in. The lead engineer then set up a huge
elaborate outline structure in the Wiki, and put in
links that people could use to create articles.
Everyone was supposed to use those links to write
assigned articles so other people could access their
knowledge. I am literally the only person in the
company who has ever done all the assigned articles.
The thing has been in use almost two years, and still
less than half those articles have ever been done.


Keith Hood
Senior (only) tech writer
ACS, Inc.

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Re: Wiki as a documentation delivery system: From: Sean Wheller

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