Tip: using Mediawiki to track collaboration

How Mediawiki can be used to develop collaborative content with team members

One of my teammates brought up this great notion that a wiki is a great collaborative workspace for developing content, because you basically train yourself to check the site for updates. Using the MediaWiki software, it’s easy to check for updates to a wikispace if you add the associated pages for that wiki to your “Watchlist.” When you’re adding a page to make it part of your watchlist, you simply click on the “Watch” tab.

The problem with using the “Watchlist” as a tracking tool,  is if your list of pages grows horizontally (i.e. more pages on new topics are added) you have to keep track of all of the pages added.   I found one way to work around this was to build a fairly good subject taxonomy to the main or hub wiki page and get all your contributors to agree that when they added new pages they had to somehow link from their page to the main-hub page.  If you are watching the site, you’ll see all the pages being linked. It probably would be easier if I wrote this out in a user scenario or story. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do this later.

Thinking ahead, it seems that if you’ve got a low tolerance for tracking change, MediaWiki might not be the best solution for you.  But then again, keeping afloat is about dealing with the ‘ebb and flow.’  Thank goodness, I dig a good waterfall.

In the image below, I show some of the great features on the MediaWiki watchlist page:


1 Response to “Tip: using Mediawiki to track collaboration”

  1. 1 seacat February 10, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    using a wiki for content development is a great idea–maybe the best. wikipedia is pure content and has a world of contributors; in an enterprise setting–so much the better as you have so many trained/expert eyes on the content.
    Keeping track of the content continues to be a challenge and ends up running the risk of info-paths-as-tribal-knowledge, ie, the tenured users know how to find stuff, the others/newbies are challenged greatly.

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