iKnowHow: building a wiki for the voluntary sector (part three) - Are we ready?
In my last post I talked about how popular – and common – wikis are on the web. But why aren’t there any for the voluntary sector? Surely they don’t only work when people are talking about the Muppets or Star Wars? I liked the comment posted on the last blog: surely the culture of volunteering in the voluntary sector would make us, as a group, ideal candidates for maintaining successful wikis?
There are two clear trends we’ve noticed at KnowHow, which suggest the time might be right for us all to embrace wiki collaboration as a form of learning how to do our jobs better.
- Firstly, there is a growing social media literacy amongst charities. Effective use of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for outreach, publicity, fundraising, and transparent dialogue with supporters and beneficiaries is commonplace. As a sector, we’re already collaborating online very well.
- Secondly, we’re all losing money. Before, we could afford expensive websites and professional writers / editors to create ‘best practice’ support and advice. Now we can’t.
Wikis offer one compelling way to combine the voluntary sector’s desire to collaborate with its need to find sustainable ways to maintain best practice guidance online.
With the iKnowHow wiki we’re hoping to seize this opportunity. Our aim is to make wikiing as easy as sending a tweet; and to generate enough wiki activity to sustain the best practice resources we all need.
Our first decision was to ensure there’d be no big, open pages filled with wiki markup to scare you off. There’ll be a choice of five writer and editor friendly templates to choose from in addition to the traditional single page article; these could be adding an FAQ, writing a how-to guide or noting down your own experiences in a case study. Completing these should be like completing a standard web registration form or Facebook profile page – logical and easy.
iKnowHow will encourage and reward different levels of engagement. You won’t need to commit to writing a whole guide. Your contribution to the ‘collective brain’ could be as little as a typo change.
But whether our little experiment works will be down to you – the real experts out there in charities and non profits across the country. My next blog post will be about encouraging contribution and incentivisation. So what I’d really like to know before then is: what makes you contribute online? What kind of incentives work for you?
To register your interest in the iKnowHow project, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org