Wonderful world of Wikis

Posted on March 13, 2007 
Filed Under Uncategorized

Rachael King in Businessweek’s “No rest for wikis” on how companies like Intel, IBM, Sony, Disney and Microsoft have taken to wikis.

Some choice quotes:

“It’s a disruptive capability — it shakes things up,” Jeff Moriarty, of Intel, on Intelpedia, which has amassed 5,000 pages of content and garnered 13.5 million page views.

“The marketing people can get a sense of what’s coming their way, as well as the finance and legal people — anyone who needs to know the one-page overview of what’s going on,” says Ned Lerner,on Sony PlayStation’s wiki.

“We’re able to make decisions quicker,” says Ernest Kayinamura, on Enel’s wiki. “The response from business-development managers has been very positive, as this has reduced the amount of time needed for due diligence to close a deal.” Enel North America is one of the largest utilities in Europe, uses its wiki to track developments in the U.S. energy market to effectively communicate news with the parent company in Italy and its 56,000 people worldwide.

“It’s allowing us to enter new markets where the market isn’t large enough to localize documentation,” says Molly Bostic on Microsoft’s Visual Studio wiki which has documentation in Portuguese and helped Microsoft expand into Brazil.

Over time, as wikis begin to get a critical mass of information, they tend to sprawl and become unwieldy. “You need some kind of person who sees the long-term consequences of not organizing,” says the Marshall School’s Majchrzak. Most often, individual contributors are not the people who will restructure existing content. Instead, that task is left to someone Majchrzak dubs the shaper—an employee who is willing to take time synthesizing information so it’s easy to read. Executives need to encourage shapers as much as individual contributors.



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