Been witnessing a lot of wiki angst recently. “We gotta get more people using the wiki.” The latest lament of civil service managers. (I wonder how many of them use it?)
Why? Why do we *have* to get people using workplace wiki?
Because senior management says so?
Because that other group over there uses it, and we gotta keep up?
Because it’s the latest trend, and we want people to think we’re up to date?
Those reasons don’t really cut it for me.
Oh sure I’ll be a good bureaucrat and try to do the right gov 2.0 thing, but really there’s only one reason that people will use their team/branch/agency/govt-wide wiki: if it will help them do their job better. Or to put it another way, if it solves a problem for them. That’s it.
My experience: For me, there’s been really only one way that workplace wikis have helped me work better: when they contain ideas I can steal.
GCpedia in particular has become a space for folks across the GoC who are in my line of work to share info. Tips, how-to’s, examples. Stuff I can borrow, copy, tweak and apply to my own work. And then share back to keep the cycle going.
My department also has a wiki that’s starting to contain some useful stuff, but to a far lesser degree. In part b/c our departmental wiki is younger than GCpedia but mainly I think it’s because I’ve got more in common with types who do what I do in other orgs than with people in my own org who do different things.
So basically, a wiki is just a tool. If it’s the right tool for the job at hand, it will get used.