Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Wiki See, Wiki Do

I've been dabbling in the Wikidom a lot and someone just asked me my top tips for Wiki administration. So I'll take a shot at it. These thoughts are coming out in no particular order. Here goes...

1. Log into your Wiki every weekday and add value, even if it's just a new category to make things easier to find. You can spend 15 minutes every day or you can spend 5 hours on one long frustrating day trying to clean up the messes left behind by various users -- the choice is yours.
2. Frequently browse the "Recent Changes" page to make sure some knucklehead hasn't done something awful or stupid. If so, fix or revert the page then move on. Don't dwell on it. The contributing user will get the picture soon enough. If anonymous, lame edits become a pattern, see the next tip.
3. Minimize the acts of wise-ass egotists, inexperienced Wiki doodlers, and drive-by spammers by forcing a log-in before allowing someone to edit. Talk to your Wiki Sysop to enable this.
4. Don't sweat the small stuff. You can go crazy editing other people's prose for teensy-weensy grammatical errors, when it adds nothing to your Wiki's value. Unless your Wiki is some Doctoral Dissertation on Grammar and Punctuation and you have a very dedicated and highly skilled user base, give it a rest. Focus on more important matters, like good overall content, ease of navigation, and attracting credible contributors.
5. Spend lots of time on mastering the Wiki basics yourself before you start judging others' contributions. The only way to lead by example is to lead by example.

More thoughts later as I have the time...

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