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How companies are benefiting from Web 2.0: McKinsey Global Survey Results

McKinsey Quarterly reports on survey done in June 09 to understand the impact of Web 2.0 inside companies.

You’ll have to register (free) to read the entire report. Here are some quotes.

“Regardless of industry, executives at companies that use more Web 2.0 technologies also report greater benefits. Comparing respondents’ industries, those at high-technology companies are most likely to report measurable benefits from Web 2.0 across the board, followed by those at companies offering business, legal, and professional services.”

“Web 2.0 delivers benefits by multiplying the opportunities for collaboration and by allowing knowledge to spread more effectively. These benefits can accrue through companies’ use of automatic information feeds such as RSS2 or microblogs, of which Twitter is the most popular manifestation. Although many companies use a mix of tools, the survey shows that among all respondents deriving benefits, the more heavily used technologies are blogs, wikis, and podcasts—the same tools that are popular among consumers.”

“Many companies experiment with Web 2.0 technologies, but creating an environment with a critical mass of committed users is more difficult. The survey results confirm that successful adoption requires that the use of these tools be integrated into the flow of users’ work.”

After the boom, is Wikipedia heading for bust?

An article from the New Scientist has Palo Alto Research Center in California warning that Wikipedia's growth is tailing off and extreme governance could be behind it.

"Chi thinks that Wikipedia now includes so much information that some editors have turned from creating new articles to improving existing ones, resulting in more disputes about edits. Such disputes are not a level playing field because established editors sometimes draw on extensive knowledge of Wikipedia's guidelines to overwhelm opposition in a practice dubbed 'wikilawyering."

Learning in and with an open wiki project: Wikiversity’s potential in global capacity building

From the latest issue of First Monday:

"There is a chance that Wikiversity will become the Internet’s free university just as Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia on the Internet. The building of an educational entity demands considering a number of philosophical and practical questions such as pedagogy and organization. In this paper we will address some of these, starting by introducing several earlier approaches and ideas related to wikis’ potential for education. We continue by presenting three commonly used metaphors of learning: acquisition, participation and knowledge creation. Then we will present the main principles of two existing alternative educational approaches: free adult education and free school movement. To test these educational approaches and practices on Wikiversity and increase our understanding of the possibilities of this initiative, in the spring of 2008 we implemented an experimental course in Wikiversity. We conclude with several recommendations essentially advocating for Wikiversity and the use of wikis in education. However, more than just presenting our opinions, as authors we aim to make an educated — traditionally and in the wiki way — contribution to the international discussion about the future of education for all in the digital era."

7 Strategies for implementing corporate wikis

Industry Week reports on a study by the Society for Information Management's Advanced Practices Council (APC) on implementing corporate wikis. Here are the recommendations:

  1. Integrate the wiki as one of several important tools in an organization's IT collaboration architecture.
  2. Understand the wiki "rules of conduct" and ensure they are monitored and enforced.
  3. Optimize the use of wikis for collaborative knowledge creation across geographically dispersed employees, and for crossing divisional or functional boundaries, in order to gain insights from people not previously connected.
  4. Assign a champion to each wiki and have that champion observe contributions that people make to the wiki; the champion will help foster employees who adopt the important "shaper" role within the wiki.
  5. Recognize that the most difficult barrier to cross in sustaining a wiki is convincing people to edit others' work; organizations should ask their champion and managers to help with this.
  6. Recognize that a significant value of wikis comes from embedding small software programs into the wiki that structure repetitive behavior. Some include organizing meeting minutes, rolling up project status or scheduling meetings. Ask wiki participants to keep watching for repetitive activity to evolve and enhance wiki technology.
  7. Understand wikis are best used in work cultures that encourage collaboration. Without an appropriate fit with the workplace culture, wiki technology will be of limited value in sharing knowledge, ideas and practices.

Planning & Sustaining Wiki-based Collaboration Projects

New article over at PebbleRoad:

"Many organizations are experimenting with wiki-based collaboration projects. But only a small percentage of these projects make it past the initial excitement or pilot phase. One of the reasons for the drop-off is that there’s not enough thought given to them other than deciding which wiki product to install. This article presents a framework that can help groups wanting to use wikis for internal projects better plan and sustain their collaboration efforts."

15 productive uses for a wiki

WebWorker Daily has a post on uses for wikis in the workplace. There are the usual suspects: to-do lists, checklists and documentation manuals. But there are others like planning events, logging client work and tracking invoices that make this post an interesting read.

Wikis in plain English

First it was RSS in plain English, and now Common Craft folks have given us Wikis in plain English. Cool stuff.

Wiki pedagogy

Renee Fountain has written an in-depth article on using wikis in education. Interesting stuff if you can wade through the dense text.

Corporate Wikis Go Viral

More upbeat news from the trenches, this time with Nokia and old-time favorite Dresdner Kleinwort.

Today, Nokia estimates at least 20% of its 68,000 employees use wiki pages to update schedules and project status, trade ideas, edit files, and so on.


Atlassian wiki evangelist Stewart Mader has just launched Wikipatterns. This website is a collection of do's and don't's that you can refer to when starting on a wiki project. But instead of just listing points out, they describe it in terms of patterns and anti-patterns. For example, People Patterns include:

And People anti-patterns include:

Wikis for exam creation

Elizabeth Lane describes using a wiki for setting an exam:

I tried an experiment this quarter in my Human Factors class. I set up a SocialText wiki, extended invitations to all of my students, and told them that 10% of their midterm grade would be the quality of their submissions to the wiki. Everyone was expected to submit a minimum of 10 points worth of questions to the wiki, and I promised that once the submission deadline had passed, only questions on the wiki would appear on the exam.

Wikis at Work

Nice introduction to using wikis in the enterprise:

As that implies, in today’s knowledge-centric work environments, the free exchange of information isn’t a privilege, but rather a requirement. By supporting such knowledge sharing, wikis are helping reinvent the way people work.

IBM’s QEDwiki

QEDWiki is IBM's wiki-based application framework for collaboration. Nice concept, especially with the demo. But where's the collaboration? Where's the shared authoring? Send to a friend is very much like email and very unlike wiki. Maybe I'm not getting this stuff, but that's my first impression.

How to Start an ‘Activity-Centric’ Wiki

Kris Oslen on how to work a wiki for your project:

"Here's a trick I use that works every time. Don't start from scratch - recreate a process that has already started. You've already got all the information and research you need - it's in your email."

Why Wikis Are Conquering The Enterprise

More evidence on the movement to Enterprise2.0 land:

"Wikis provide a social incentive to share knowledge," Socialtext CEO Ross Mayfield told internetnews.com. "People don't like filling in forms, but they enjoy telling stories about their day."

Using Wiki in Education

Stewart Mader has published a wiki-book on Using Wiki in Education.

"It contains 10 case studies written by teachers that describe how they're using the wiki to transform courses and engage today's students in a range of environments including high school, small college, major research university, online/distance learning and research lab. This is the first book to focus specifically on the wiki in education and be developed and published using a wiki, so it actively demonstrates the tool in action."

Blog on using wikis in education

Stewart Mader has a blog - Using Wiki in Education. Nice!

Wikis in Government

Ross Mayfield points to this article over at GCN that discusses the uses of wikis in gov.

Proceedings of the 2005 International Symposium on Wikis

Nice bunch of papers on wikis. [thanks infodesign]

Using wikis on the intranet: The British Council case study

I've written a case study on how wikis are used inside the British Council, Singapore. The main focus of this case study is to highlight the characteristics of the work practices that have accommodated the use of a wiki and the changes that have come about as a result of the intergration.

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