Where Collaboration Goes to Die

Over the weekend, I was looking to enhance and expand my knowledge on a particular topic and my searching lead me to a wiki created to share the resource.  Great, I thought.  I’ve got some content to offer already and I’d be happy to exchange it and help grow the wiki.

But, I couldn’t.  The wiki was “locked’.

What the heck?

I’m starting to run into more of this in the research that I’m doing recently.  I recall a comment that went by earlier this summer “PDFs are where ideas go to die”.  PDF is a format that basically sends the message that the topic is done, over, kaput, finished, and the author has had the last say.

A locked wiki sends the same, or even harsher, message.  At least when you know that you’re going to look at a PDF document, you know what you’re getting.  By definition, a wiki is a collaboration space where the topic or resource gets better because of the collaboration of others.  When I go to visit a wiki that’s publically available, it is with the expectation that I’m going to be the benefactor of the collective knowledge of many folks.

But, what about people defacing or providing inaccurate content?  The power of the wiki is its ability to let the owner or management team know when something has changed.  Another powerful feature is the ability to roll back the wiki to a previous version should something go awry.

If you’re interested in locking down content, why not pretty it up and turn it into a webpage?  There are plenty of free places to post static content if price is an issue.  If you’re going to use a wiki, I would encourage all to exploit the power of the wiki.  It only takes a couple of clicks…here’s what it looks like at my PBWiki settings.

If you’re using a wiki publically, you’re at the edge of something very powerful.  Invite the world to make your efforts better.  Don’t let collaboration die at your place!
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links for 2009-09-06