!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Setting up a Wiki

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Setting up a Wiki

Wiki: a type of Web site that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change some available content ... [definition from Wikipedia]

As a documentation specialist, I am naturally interested in tools for facilitating practical documentation of everything from computer applications to customer relationships. In a community of trusted participants, such as a work team, the wiki can be an excellent tool that allows everyone to contribute expertise to getting a documentation job done as expeditiously and accurately as possible.

For example, I am currently working on a training project for a solar energy company. During interviews with company employees, the issue of documenting operation of their newest equipment came up several times. They are making only halting progress with the documentation, even though it is essential to keep everyone using the equipment apprised of the latest changes to operating parameters in order to minimize costly errors. Though I didn't venture to bring the wiki approach up, I believe it could help them get this job done quite efficiently.

The November 9 edition of the New York Times offered a couple of suggestions for obtaining free wiki software to install on your own Web site or server — Twiki.org and www.MediaWiki.org. Given the software's ease of use and minimal out-of-pocket cost, it seems well worth the time for an organization with an ongoing need to create and update documents to give the wiki approach a try.


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