Last night I wandered along to Wiki Wednesday, where Ross dropped in on his way back from Helsinki. This was a focused gathering, so I think most people had a chance to to talk to everyone there. There’s definitely a group of people I keep bumping into at these type of sessions, like Sarah and Ian. Some new people to me were Tom and Julian . One of the topics was the stabilisation and productionisation of wiki software – making the installation a lot easier and making the use of them far more WYSIWYG. I’ve shown wikis to people at work who just ‘use’ computers, use Word etc and there is always a reluctance to edit, to attempt to use the required syntax to do formatting. If that can be made a lot simpler, then some of the behavioural change will be easier. Another set of conversations were about geting people to use systems like wikis internally, what sort of information could you seed the idea with. A favourite was definitely the lunchtime menus – one story was about the use of a webcam so that people could see the queue to get food. Another favourite would be information about benefit policies. These strategies are targeted at company wide initiatives, where the whole intranet would change, not at providing information solutions for smaller teams. However, whatever the trigger, the technology is often the easy part – finding ways to provide a solution that people will believe will make their lives better enough to get them to use it is always the hard part.
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