The Wiki Learning Curve

Shel Holtz points to a Business Week article, E-Mail Is So Five Minutes Ago. Business Week says that

“…it’s easy-to-use and practically free wikis that proponents say offer the promise of collaboration beyond e-mail, even though big editing kinks remain and other quirks and security flaws are sure to surface. Internet research firm Gartner Group predicts that wikis will become mainstream collaboration tools in at least 50% of companies by 2009.”

My company shares the belief that Wikis are the way of the future. In fact, we’ve been experimenting with a Wiki to replace our traditional Intranet site with a fully multi-authored, collaborative space.

What we are finding is that authoring on the Wiki requires users to adopt a new mindset that does not come naturally to a generation raised on MS Word. At this time, the Wiki Learning Curve is limiting adoption of the Wiki by many of our users. They are telling us that they require Help files geared to the nontechnical user and a more intuitive editing interface.

We’ll keep working on this. But I think that we are like most organizations in only having started up the learning curve.