The usage of Wikis is growing at what seems to be a fairly rapid rate. For those not familiar with the term, a wiki is a Web site where anyone can change or add to the site. Sometimes update authority is restricted, but in general, a wiki is a site that is collaboratively created by those who read it. There are many examples of wikis on the internet, the most famous being Wikipedia. Now, we are seeing a substantial roll-out of wikis by businesses. There are a few external enterprise wikis, but most of the usage seems to be behind the company firewall. Those wikis are used for project management, creating knowledge bases to support communities of interest, maintaining documentation of processes or tools and the collaborative authorship of documents like specifications or requirements documents.
IBM has made available to its employees facilities for creating wikis in an attempt to see what ways they might be used by our employees to support their activities. The ETTK team has an internal wiki we use to manage our projects, provide documentation to new ETTK technology developers and develop new ideas. This has worked out very well and we are experimenting with other ways to apply internal wikis.
We are also experimenting with an external enterprise wiki for the ETTK community. We are evolving it now to try to facilitate content that can be collaboratively created by communities of interest that form around some of our technology packages or the problem areas they address. An external enterprise wiki, in my view, is an experiment in community building and cross enterprise collaboration. I'll report on both our internal and external wiki activities, but I hope some interested parties will monitor our external ETTK wiki and contribute to it as it evolves.