Wiki Scaffolding: Aligning Wikis with the Corporate Strategy

Wikis are main exponents of collaborative development by user communities. This community may be created around the wiki itself (e.g., community of contributors in Wikipedia) or already exist (e.g., company employees in corporate wikis). In the latter case, the wiki is not created in a vacuum but as part of the information ecosystem of the hosting organization. As any other Information System resource, wiki success highly depends on the interplay of technology, work practice and the organization. Thus, wiki contributions should be framed along the concerns already in use in the hosting organization in terms of glossaries, schedules, policies, organigrams and the like. The question is then, how can corporate strategies permeate wiki construction while preserving wiki open-ness and accessibility? We advocate for the use of "Wiki Scaffoldings", i.e., a wiki installation that is provided at the onset to mimic these corporate concerns: categories, users, templates, articles initialized with boilerplate text, are all introduced in the wiki before any contribution is made. To retain wikis' friendliness and engage layman participation, we propose scaffoldings to be described as mind maps. Mind maps are next "exported" as wiki installations. We show the feasibility of the approach introducing a Wiki Scaffolding Language (WSL). WSL is realized as a plugin for FreeMind, a popular tool for mind mapping. Finally, we validate the expressiveness of WSL in four case studies. WSL is available for download.

  • Information Systems journal

  • March, 2012
  • Elsevier

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University of the basque country