My developerWorks tip of the week: Best practices for starting groups and wikis
vskinner 060000VKGS Comment (1) Visits (3822)
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?
A wiki gives you the ability to build web pages collaboratively around a specific topic.
A group 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?
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:
Make a plan for the first few months in your group or wiki: