If you're trying to build information or community around a specific topic, you may be considering a group or a wiki on My developerWorks
. Here are tips to help you get started or make the group or wiki you already have even better.
Should you start a My developerWorks group or a wiki?
gives you the ability to build web pages collaboratively around a specific topic.
allows members to join, use a discussion board, communicate with the group, share bookmarks, share files, start a blog and start a wiki.
A group offers you many more community features to help you build an active community around a specific topic. So, if you want to build a community that you can have a two-way conversation with, I highly recommend that you start a group, and then start a wiki from within that group if you want to start a wiki.
What's the topic of your group or wiki?
Having a well defined topic, can help your group or wiki be successful. Pick a topic that you are knowledgeable and passionate about. Consider whether you'd like a broad topic that might attract a larger audience or a more niche topic that might let you focus on more narrow interests.
Before you create one, try doing a search to see if there's already a group or wiki on the same topic or a similar topic. If so, you may want to join that and be part of it, instead of starting a new one.
If you want to be more active in the group, you can contact the group owner and let them know what you have in mind to see if it makes sense for to join an existing group instead of starting a new one.
What do you hope to accomplish in your group or wiki?
Do you want to share information? Form a network of people? Create collaborative content? Talk about current events and trends? Having an idea of what you're trying to accomplish before you start your group can help you be more successful.Create a group charter
to describe the purpose of your group.What do you want to name the group or wiki? And how do you want to describe it?
Spend a little time thinking about your group or wiki name. You want it to capture the essence of what your group or wiki is all about. You want the name to be easily understood. Be careful about including acronyms in your name that may not be easily recognized. You should probably consider keeping the name relatively short as well.
Have a nice group description and graphic for your group - this helps it stand out. In your group description, you may also want to include something like "Your Name
is the group moderator. Feel free to contact Your Name
if you have questions."Do you want your group to be public, moderated or private?
- If your group is public, anyone can join.
- If your group is moderated - people can see it and request to join and to be able to join, the group owner must approve the request. Be aware, that if you choose this option, it may be a barrier for potential group members.
- If your group is private - others will not be able to see it - so you will need to invite anyone to join the group. This only makes sense if you want a small, exclusive private group.
Who's going to lead your group or wiki?
If you want to have a successful, active group or wiki, it helps to have a leader or moderator. Anyone can start a group or wiki - but helping it grow and be successful takes effort. Before starting a group or wiki, you should consider whether this is a commitment you're willing to make.Things a group or wiki leader might do include:
- Welcome new group members or wiki participants - write on their board or add them to your network
- Find people with similar interests and invite them to participate in your group or wiki
- Be available to answer questions
- Post information for the group
- Start group discussions
- Consider starting a wiki or blog within your group
- Stay aware of activity happening on the group or wiki
- Share significant activity in your group or wiki with your members by notifying them
Consider recruiting several friends or teammates with similar interests to help you lead the group or wiki. If you have several people working together, you can divide up the work and have a better chance of success.Make a plan for the first few months in your group or wiki
Have any questions or ideas related to groups or wikis? Let us know!
- Plan for how to promote and grow your group or wiki - for example, you might want to identify newsletters or Twitter accounts you could use to spread the word.
- Plan for how to get activity and discussion started in your group or wiki - for example, create an outline on your wiki with a timeline and invite members to start working on a specific section each week, or you might want to plan a new discussion topic in your group each week, or you might want to plan a new group blog post each week.
- Plan to check your group or wiki regularly to respond to new participation and welcome new members.