Best practices for getting others to contribute to your wiki

12 Sep

When it comes to building a collaborative wiki, there are certain elements that significantly increase your chances for getting others to contribute to your wiki. Here are the PBwiki best practices for getting participants to be fully engaged in your wiki.

Avoid Blank-Page Syndrome: Pre-fill your wiki with content.
Most people get scared by blank pages. We call this “blank-page syndrome,” which causes users to flee and never return. There’s a way around this: Just add some content to your wiki before inviting users. Consider adding an “About Me” page, a “What’s this wiki about?” page, and a few more welcoming pages. Not only will this help new users get situated, it will help you get experience editing your new wiki. We find the learning curve of successful wiki editors to be about 12-15 minutes.

Make the front page a landing page for navigation.
Your front page should have a short explanation of the purpose of the wiki and links to appropriate pages, not one long scrolling page. This helps in two ways: First, users tend to get overwhelmed when they first come to a wiki, so this approach lightens up the content on the page and directs them to the next step. Second, if you get large amounts of users on one page, they won’t be able to edit it at once. With multiple pages, the chances of two people trying to edit a page at the same time is lower. So keep a short front page with links to other pages.

Give users something concrete to do.
One user, “Michelle,” had trouble getting co-workers to participate in her wiki for over a year. Then she changed her approach: She asked users to change one line of the Frontpage. Participation skyrocketed and continues to be strong a year later. Consider creating a soft request, like asking users to add their name or to fix a single spelling error on the wiki page. They’ll be much more likely to try editing if they have a small nugget to accomplish first.

Making logging in as easy as possible.
The problem is not access controls – it’s creating something compelling enough to get people to contribute to your community in the first place. Make your wiki easy to access and worry about access controls after getting a few regular participants. (If you absolutely need ironclad business security, we do offer the PBwiki Small Business Edition.)

Get everyone to participate.
When you start a new wiki, you’ll find that some people will cling to old methods of communication. For example, some of our users report that their co-workers continued emailing them or asking others to “please put this on the wiki.” When people email you, point them to the wiki. The beauty of PBwiki is that the most current information is always on the wiki, so direct them to your PBwiki URL and encourage them to add it themselves. After 2-3 reminders — and seeing their co-workers actively using it — they’ll be much more likely to contribute to your wiki.

Remind your users that it’s ok to play.
Your wiki users will be nervous the first time they come to PBwiki, wondering if they’re going to mess something up or cause an irreversible change. Assure them that it’s ok to edit pages — PBwiki automatically tracks changes and allows you to reverse changes, so they should feel free to edit an existing page or create a new page. In fact, one of your goals might be for each user to create their own page!

Make PBwiki part of your day.
One of our most successful wiki editors added “It’s on the wiki! http://wikiname.pbworks.com” to his email signature, instant-message window, and on his website. When users messaged him, it was the first thing they saw. Consider putting your daily schedule or important notices on your wiki. When others see it used regularly, they’ll buy in, too.

52 Responses to “Best practices for getting others to contribute to your wiki”

  1. Flo McGee September 15, 2007 at 1:36 am #

    This is very helpful.. As I have tried many ways to get my teachers to use our school wiki.. so perhaps I will try a few of your suggestions..

  2. Maureen Beck September 25, 2007 at 6:54 am #

    This is helpful and I hope to try a couple of suggestions! Thanks.

  3. Hans Poschmaier October 31, 2007 at 4:07 am #

    It’s the content, which rules the world (not longer the application – see Google, Youtube etc.), therefore I passionately support the first recommendation – DO AVOID BLANK PAGES !

    The wiki must meet the infotainment-attitude to create a co-working and contributing mindset.

    Play with (interasctive) widgets, gadgets, that link fun with infotainment, a good source is: http://www.widgetbox.com

  4. David Stone December 2, 2007 at 12:19 am #

    The simple recommendations of this page turned my first wiki from confusing and virtually useless to clear and productive.

    Thanks!

  5. Teresa Bayer December 11, 2007 at 5:06 am #

    I’m just starting, so I’ll try the suggestions. Thanks for the assistance.

  6. Billy Grenham November 12, 2008 at 9:49 pm #

    Can you tell me if I can “enable script” for my page or add javascript?

  7. afirmaciones positivas December 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Thank you a few other helpful web site. Where altogether different may possibly I am getting which type of data written in a very best procedure? I own a task that I am only at this point managing for, and I’ve already been at the check for similarly info.

  8. black Ops 2 prestige hack January 9, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled
    upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  9. Rosita January 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    Howdy! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post
    to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  10. motorcycle resource February 2, 2014 at 4:00 am #

    hello!,I love your writing so a lot! share we keep up a correspondence more approximately your
    article on AOL? I require an expert on this house to unravel my
    problem. Maybe that is you! Looking ahead to
    peer you.

  11. Jayne February 5, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    Just want to say your article is as astounding.
    The clearness for your submit is simply great and that i can suppose
    you’re knowledgeable on thios subject. Fine with your permission let me to seize
    your feed to keep updated with imminent post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please continue thhe rewarding work.

  12. growtallerbettervision.com February 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    A person essentially assist to make severely articles
    I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far?
    I surprised with the research you made to make this actual post
    extraordinary. Great task!

  13. http://growtallerbettervision.com/ February 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    Post writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar with
    afterward you can write otherwise it is complicated to write.

  14. eso gold February 21, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    hi!,I like your writing so a lot! proportion we keep in touch extra about
    your post on AOL? I need a specialist in this space to solve my problem.
    Maybe that is you! Having a look ahead to see
    you.

  15. buy elder scrolls online global gold February 21, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    Wow, that’s what I was looking for, what a data!

    present here at this weeb site, thanks admin of this site.

  16. elder scrolls online February 21, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    Hi there all, here every person is sharing these knowledge,
    therefore it’s fastidious to read this blog, and I used to pay a quick visit this web site every day.

  17. buy global eso gold February 21, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    It’s actually very difficult in this full of activity life to listen news on TV, thus I simply use internet for that reason, and get the hottest news.

  18. buy elder scrolls online gold February 21, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    I like the helpful information you provide oon your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at again here frequently.
    I’m reasonably sure I will be informed a lot of new
    stuff proper right here! Beest of luck for the following!

  19. buy cheapest eso gold February 21, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    Hi there to every one, it’s genuinely a pleasant for me to pay
    a visit this web site, it consists of priceless Information.

  20. elder scrolls online February 21, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this web site daily, this site is genuinely pleasant and the users are genuinely sharing fastidious thoughts.

  21. buying eso gold February 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find
    It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid
    others like you aided me.

  22. buy eso February 21, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    Highly descriptive article, I liked that bit. Will there be
    a part 2?

  23. global eso February 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    It’s very effortless to find out any topic on web as compared to books, as
    I found this paragraph at this website.

  24. best elder scrolls online reviews February 21, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was super
    long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying
    your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.

    Do you have any tips and hints for inexperienced
    blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  25. cheap eso gold February 21, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme
    in our community. Your website offered us with valuable info
    to work on. You have done a formidable job and our entire
    community will be grateful to you.

  26. elder scrolls gold February 22, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This post posted at this site is in fact good.

  27. eso gold buy February 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    Great article, totally ѡhat I ԝanted to fiոd.

  28. best elder scrolls online reviews February 22, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    What’s up, I would like to subscribe for this weblog
    to get newest updates, thus where can i do it please help out.

  29. eso gold site February 22, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    always i used to read smaller posts that as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this article which I
    am reading at this time.

  30. buy elder scrolls online gold February 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    What’s up to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting
    more from this web page, and your views are good designed
    for new users.

  31. eso gold buy February 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    What’s սp, always i սsed to check webpage posts ɦere
    inn thе eardly hours іn the break of day, aѕ i enjoy to gain knowledge of mοrе aոd morе.

  32. eso gold safely February 22, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    Hello! І just wanted to ask іf yoou еver hae any issues with
    hackers? Ӎy last blog (wordpress) աas hacked and І еnded up losing months ߋf hard work due
    to no data backup. Do уoս Һave any solutions to stop hackers?

  33. elder scrolls online news February 23, 2014 at 5:37 am #

    Savsd as ɑ favorite, Ι reallү liƙe your web site!

  34. buy eso gold news February 25, 2014 at 4:48 am #

    Hі there! I could have sworn I’ve ƅeen to tɦіs website before bbut аfter
    browsing tɦrough ѕome off thе post I realized it’s new tߋ
    mе. Anyhօw, I’m defiոitely glad I founԁ it and I’ll be bookmarking аոd checking back frequently!

  35. buy elder scrolls online gold February 25, 2014 at 4:48 am #

    Keep on wߋrking, greɑt job!

  36. buy elder scrolls online February 26, 2014 at 5:32 am #

    Ԝhat’s սp, its nice piece of writing aƄout media print, we all Ьe familiar ԝith media іs а fantastic source off
    information.

  37. eso gold quick February 26, 2014 at 5:48 am #

    Outstanding quest there. Ԝhat happened after?
    GooԀ luck!

  38. elder scrolls online gold cheapest gold February 26, 2014 at 5:59 am #

    Pretty! Tɦis has been ann extremely wonderful article.
    Μanу thanks for providing this iոformation.

  39. buying February 27, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    Hello, itѕ nice post on the topic οf media print, wе alll bе familiar witɦ media іs a enormous source οf faϲts.

  40. eso gold safe February 27, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    Yes! Finally someone writes about elder scrolls online gold fast.

  41. Optimize press 2 March 3, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the
    work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe.
    At all times go after your heart.

  42. tattoo kit for sale March 17, 2014 at 4:54 am #

    Hi to every , because I am genuinely keen of reading this webpage’s post to be
    updated on a regular basis. It carries nice information.

  43. Edward April 5, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    If you want to obtain a good deal from this paragraph then you have to apply such strategies to
    your won blog.

  44. http://www.clevelandwindows.net April 14, 2014 at 7:19 am #

    Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how could i
    subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast
    provided bright clear idea

  45. online marketing April 14, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    I think the admin of this website is in fact working hard in
    favor of his site, because here every information is quality based information.

  46. fibroids April 14, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having
    trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail.
    I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it
    grow over time.

  47. Tripod For Gopro April 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed
    in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never
    seem to get there! Thank you

  48. cleveland affordable windows April 21, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before
    but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  49. Window replacement cleveland ohio April 22, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Valuable info. Fortunate me I discovered
    your site by accident, and I’m surprised why this twist of fate didn’t took place in advance!

    I bookmarked it.

  50. cleveland replacement windows April 22, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    excellent submit, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not understand this.
    You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers’
    base already!

  51. online Shopping kleidung April 22, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    It’s going to be ending of mine day, however before finish I am reading this fantastic article
    to improve my experience.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Project Play » Blog Archive » Week 9 - November 12, 2007

    [...] applications to find the best one for your situation. You might also want to read pbwiki’s Best Practices for Creating a Collaborative Wiki to ensure the success of your wiki as you get [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 84 other followers

%d bloggers like this: