iKnowHow: building a wiki for the voluntary sector (part fifteen) Our meeting with Wikimedia
This week has been an exciting one for us lot at iKnowhow, as we met up for a chat with the guys (and girl!) at Wikimedia Foundation UK. This is the UK 'chapter' of the organisation responsible for Wikipedia.
It was great to get their expert insight into wiki development, and hear all about the amazing work they have been doing around the UK. This includes the world's first Wikipedia town in Monmouth, South East Wales - see Monmouthpedia.
From our meeting I realised that it isn’t just individual editors that come in and edit Wikipedia (although there are many of them); there are also many wiki projects all over the world, bringing together teams of experts who work collaboratively to make sure that their specialist subject is a) on Wikipedia an b) accurate and up to date.
Take for example, Susan Hewitt - she's facilitating a team of experts on gastropods (one of the largest taxonomic classes on the planet, better known as snails and slugs). Or Cancer Research UK - they recognized that Wikipedia articles on cancer ranked higher than their own on Google, but noticed ‘there were problems with accuracy and clarity on some of the pages’. So with the support of Wikimedia UK, they are now working to improve them.
This idea of getting experts or (existing teams) together to work collaboratively on a particular subject struck a chord with us at iKnowHow. We'd been targeting individuals - but most people don't work alone, and don't like to work alone. So here are some reasons why we think iKnowHow could be great for your team or expert community:
- It’s way more fun working on joint projects than doing it alone.
- It's a more rewarding way to work with colleagues, piecing together all your knowledge into one ‘finished’ product.
- It gives old projects that may have already produced content a new life, giving new people the chance to share their opinion.
And at the end of it, you really have a piece of work that could:
- help further your charity's mission
- demonstrate impact and evidence of good work
- help your personal / team / departmental objectives
So, we think that wikis could be a great way to bring teams together and focus their thinking in a fun way. But what about you? Have you tried it before - we'd love to know what you think.
Next week we hope to have a guest blog from our new friends at Wikimedia UK. Watch this space!