Wiki and online collaboration tools

Presented at the Trollparty
January 26th, 2006
World Social Forum, Caracas.

Marc Laporte, Canada
Luis Fagundes, Brazil
What is collaboration?
  • The attendance explains what collaboration is.
  • A bit of history
  • What do people in the attendance use?
What is a wiki?
  • A website where users can easily become contributors.
  • Ward Cunningham (cache) implemented the WikiWikiWeb (cache) original in 1995.
  • There are hundreds of wiki software available
  • Features of a classic wiki
    • Many editors via a Web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, etc)
    • Wiki Syntax including page creation via WikiWords
    • History of versions: An exemple. We know who changed what & when
Wiki Syntax
Permits us to format text without using html

(There are many different syntaxes)
Features of modern wikis
  • Categories and structures to avoid "Wiki chaos"
  • Authentication & permissions
    • Each page can have distinct permissions
  • Easy to change the look & feel (style)
  • Adding files (.odt, .pdf)
  • Images (and even online editing via applet Jgraphpad ou Jhotdraw)
  • Watch a page (notification by email)
  • Local cache of external links
  • Spreadsheet (ex: TikiSheet)
  • Presentations/slides (like this one)
  • Search engines
  • Many plugins
  • etc
Wikipedia: Wiki + Encyclopedia
La enciclopedia libre (cache)

  • Started in 2001.
  • 1 600 000+ articles in many languages
  • 88 000+ artículos en espanol
  • Probably the biggest wiki in the World.
Who uses a Wiki?
  • Non-profits
  • Associations
  • Government ministries
  • Companies
  • etc
Why is it efficient?

Everyone on the same page!

"Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" -Eric Raymond (The Cathedral & the Bazaar)

"Nobody knows everything, but everyone knows something". Pierre Lévy (cache) (Intelligence collective)
The network effect
The network effect (cache) causes a good or service to have a value to a potential customer dependent on the number of customers already owning that good or using that service. This is particularly true for Wikipedia.

Wiki compared to:
  • Email
  • Discussion Forums
  • Mailing Lists
  • Blogs
  • Chat
Current communication problems
Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?

I don't know what I don't know

In a community / group / association, we can sometimes ask ourselves:
  • Who has the file for the event we organized last year?
  • How can we teach a new member the state of different projects?
  • How do I know if someone is already working on a similar project?
  • What do we do when someone is on vacation and some important files are on his computer?

Success & Failure
Are you thinking of setting up a wiki?
  • Dispersed team (geographically and time zones)
  • Culture of Information Sharing
  • A facilitator
  • Ontology / structure / "refactoring"

What should be in a wiki?
Les paroles s'envolent
Les écrits restent
Les courriels se perdent
Le wiki perdure

  • Documentation
  • Procedures, etc
A habit: Every time you send an email: Ask yourself: Will someone need this information, now or in the future? (Email doesn't scale)
Wiki for project management
  • Problème avec logiciels de gestion de projets
    • données incomplètes (les gens s'en servent-ils?)
    • que faire avec les tâches "permanentes"?

Gestion de projet "soft"
  • Chaque projet a une page avec qui fait quoi pour quand.
  • Les personnes concernées sont avisées par courriel lors de modifications
  • Système de ticket (tracker) si grand nombre de tâches définies (bogue, appels, etc)
Tiki Wiki/CMS/Groupware

freenode #tikiwiki
© Marc Laporte
Last update from CVS: Tuesday 08 of December, 2009 [15:51:40 UTC]