There is rapid development of technology, use of social media tools and content-sharing sites. Today, more and more organizations are now starting to use wikis as a knowledge sharing tool or as a content management tool. In other words, Wikis are becoming one of the most popular social media tools for organizational communication.
The term “Wiki” is a Hawaiian word for “quick” or “fast”. On the World Wide Web it is used both to mean a web site or collection of web pages that are communally written, and the underlying technology that facilitates the web site’s creation (Andersen, 2005). In other words, Wiki is an open and collaborative platform for information creation and knowledge sharing. The term was coined by Ward Cunningham in 1995, the Amercian computer programmer and software developer of the new website technology WikiWikiWeb. A wiki is the classic Enterprise 2.0 technology for a core of strongly tied knowledge workers who are collaborating on a deliverable (McAfee, 2007). Wikis have been used to create group spaces, to generate documents, to build user-generated content-based community, to share contents, to communicate to the public, to debate their contents and structure with simple user friendly interface.
A video clip explains “what wiki is”
Figure 1.0 – What wiki is
Types of Wikis
Below is a list of three major different types of Wikis which have been used in different context and purposes.
- Personal Wikis/Desktop Wiki – It is primarily for personal use. It allows people to store their information (eg. notes, to-do lists, projects, links) and to organize information on their desktops and mobile devices. TiddlyWiki is a powerful personal wiki platform which can be used as personal database for notes and other information.
- Team Wiki/Multi-Users Wiki – It is for a group of people users. It allows people in the same team or work group to store and archive structured information and share ideas, so everyone in the team can read and contribute. This type of wiki has been used for many varied purposes, including project management, knowledge management, technology support and communities of practice.
- Corporate Wiki/Enterprise Wiki/Organizational Wiki – It is a wiki used in a corporate (or organisational) context, especially to enhance internal knowledge sharing (Wikipedia, 2010). It is an amazing place for the organization to store both internal and external information with easy access. It is also a collaboration place for employees to participate and to share ideas with others.
Features of Wikis
- Collaboration – Everyone is requesting and receiving information. Everyone can be both a Content Producer(Creator) and a Content Consumer.
- Communication – They are more oriented to many-to-many forms of communication about shared content (like resources and information) and have instant communication over the Internet.
- Information – Keep people informed on lastest information.
- Productivity and Efficiency – To increase employees’ productivity by providing right tools.
- Low Cost – cost less to implement wiki than centralized Internat.
- MediaWiki – It is an Open Source (free) web-based software wiki package written in PHP, originally for use on Wikipedia, as well as other Wikis.
- WikidPad – It is a free personal (single-user) Python-based wiki-like note editor which can be installed on a portable (like USB) drive.
- TWiki – It is an Open Source Perl-based structured wiki application.
Case Study of Sony Ericsson
There are many technology organizations already using wikis as part of their developer networks, such as Intel, Motorola, IBM, Sun, Oracel and SAP. Other companies like Red Ant and Pixar use wikis as their collaboration tool for clients to communicate and manage project.
Figure 2.0 – Sony Ericsson’s wiki community
In 2006, Sony Ericsson decided to launch a new wiki community to support the Sony Ericsson mobile developers. In the Sony Ericsson developer world Wiki, people can easily get information on how the latest technologies (Jave ME, Symbian/UIQ3, Android) are used in any Sony Ericsson mobile phone and aslo they can share ideas and information with others. As well, they can find tools and support to develop great mobile applications and content.
Benefits of Using Wiki for Sony Ericsson
Sony Ericsson integrates the wiki as one of the imporatant mobile application developement tools in its organization IT collaboration architecture to help and support its mobile communication users.
- can access up-to-date content information.
- can provide efficiency tools to its users to develop applications.
- can provide collaborative knowledge across people and platforms.
- can provide RSS Feeds to individual topic and pages.
- can encourage people to leave comments and discuss article topics.
- can save resources – view the newest phone user guide without printing them.
E. Andersen. 2005. Using Wikis in a Corporate Context.
Enterprise Wiki. 2010. Wikipedia.