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How do I start a wiki?

What I've found over the years of being on forums are 2 things:
  1. The same questions get asked over and over.
  2. Threads can be long and the answers are rarely completely contained in the first answer. They tend to follow this kind of pattern
    1. Poorly worded question
    2. Request for clarification
    3. Partial answer
    4. But what about this?
    5. Another partial answer
    6. Where is it?
    7. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah 


Steps to create a wiki
  1. Open your wiki up so visitors can view, members can view and edit - (Owners only)
    NOTE: Everyone worries about this, I have NEVER seen it abused and I've been doing wikis for over 10 years
  2. Create a wiki "Home" page asking for help
  3. What is your most frequently asked question? 
  4. What is the answer?
  5. Create a wiki page and document it.
    NOTE: My 1st wikipage in our group answered the "Who fixes appliances" question. For over 6 years and numerous threads it was always Ray Serrano.
    CAUTION: Take a few minutes and think about what you are going to name your page. Wikipage links are based on the name. If you change the name later you'll break any existing links to it, whether from other wikipages within your wiki, calendar or links from messages.
  6. Add a link to it on your Home page.
    • It helps at this point to start thinking of content organization.
    • When you start out you might use bold headings with a bullet list of your wikipages beneath.
    • As you content multiplies it is easy to change your bold headings to the "Heading 1" format and incorporate a Table of Contents (ToC) to your "Home" page.
      • As you add bullets you'll undoubtedly end up with sub categories. As these grow they become "Heading 2" and so on.
  7. Repeat steps 3 - 6 until your fingers fall off.
  8. Start answering Message questions by referring to the wikipage that answers it.
    This trains your users to think about using the wiki.
You don't have to "have it done" before you turn it on. It is never "done". Hopefully you'll have a few of your members who have too much time on their hands and a helpful spirit.
My 1st wiki experience was at Boeing and my most successful wiki was for the 787 Inspectors. It was heavily relied on. Management was terrified that "bad" information would get propagated but it never happened. The (very) few others who contributed always provided good information.
Hope this helps

Bill Hazel 


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