Friday, August 31, 2007

Wiki raids

I saw this on the Green Chameleon this morning: Thinking About Wikis - and Wiki Raids. The problem of getting people exposed to wikis for the first time is not insignificant. Obviously, their power comes from a group working together to pound out something new. When used correctly they are nothing short of phenomenal. If you haven't experienced this magic first hand then you really can't understand the power. This is all about being the ball. If you haven't been there I don't think you can understand it.

So, when I saw this piece on wiki raids it definitely got my attention. This is a nice prescriptive approach to a quick and meaningful wiki experience. We'd talked about having hackfest types of events to get people exposed to working in wikis, but this is so much simpler and better. The recipe:

And here’s a recipe for an activity we tried some months back for a group that wanted to start using a wiki to draft a new set of policies collaboratively, but (a) weren’t too familiar with wiki technology and (b) weren’t too familiar with the new policy template they were using.

1. Invite the drafting group to a half day “wiki raid” in a meeting room with intranet connections and one PC/laptop for every two people (or they can bring their own).
2. Have the policy template set up on a wiki, with each section on a separate page.
3. Working in pairs, the participants each take one section of the policy paper and start drafting.
4. After 20 minutes, get them to save their wiki page and move to another section drafted by another pair, which they refine. (Be consistent about which direction they are rotating in).
5. Repeat.
6. Repeat.
7. Do a spot review and identify the sections that have most work left to do.
8. Repeat the cycle, working on those sections.

Result? By the end of an afternoon you’ll have 90% of a policy paper that might have taken endless committee meetings and draft-bouncing over several months. Oh, and they’ll have figured out how to use the tools.

That sounds very cool. I so want to try this...

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