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Plan Your Next Event with PBworks

29 Apr

Mashable has a great little piece on how to plan and promote your next event with social media.  I particularly liked this paragraph:

PBworks: The wiki is an ideal platform for planning events – it’s easy to add notes, edit information, and organize content. Both mediawiki (the software that runs Wikipedia) and PBworks (formerly PBwiki) are good choices, but PBworks has been a favorite of organizers because of its business features, better document-sharing features, and RSS notifications.”

If you have an upcoming event, don’t forget to make PBworks part of it!

Tip of the week: Restrict access to your documents

18 Dec

Since we released the new document management features we’ve seen a huge spike in the number of files that people upload to their wiki.

Now people want to know how to set custom security on these files – specifically how to share a document with just a few users but not everyone on the wiki.

Here is a question straight from the support queue:

“It seems that everyone on my wiki can click on the files button and see all the files. Is there a way to prevent this? I have files that I do not want other departments to see.”

YES! On premium wikis, administrators can create custom security settings for their documents and files.

To restrict access to files and documents on your wiki:

  1. First create a folder and set custom security on that folder.
  2. Next upload your files into that folder.
Restrict Access from PBwikiWebinars on Vimeo.

Tip of the Week – Cut down on notification noise with RSS

20 Nov

PBwiki notifications are a great way to stay up-to date on every page of your wiki. However as you wiki grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to see through all those edits and locate what’s important to you.

Cut down that noise with a per page RSS feed.

By subscribing to a page RSS feed, you are alerted to all the changes on just that page of your wiki. This allows you to focus on the pages that are important to you and better manage the notifications from PBwiki.
RSS on PBWiki from PBwikiWebinars on Vimeo.

Ideas or additional tips? Let me know in the comments!

Tip of the Week – Customize your free wiki

7 Nov

Chris the Teacher asked us how we can help make his free wiki look more appealing to his students.

Even a free wiki can be modified to fit in with your classroom or organization. Here are two tips I gave Chris on how to customize a free wiki. This is my tip of the week.
Two ways to customize your wiki from PBwikiWebinars on Vimeo.

How do you rearrange your wiki to better suit your style?

Tip of the Week: Don't recreate your wiki pages – use templates!

28 Oct

We’re bringing back PBwiki ‘Tip of the Week’ series, now in user friendly video format!

Find out how we’re using our internal business wiki to collaborate, share information and keep our growing team on one page.

Here’s how to avoid writing the same information over and over — use a template!
Tip of the week from PBwikiWebinars on Vimeo.

Can PBwiki Help You Get A Job?

18 Jul

eWeek suggests that publishing information on your wiki may help techies in the job search:

Like the Academia from which the industry sprung, career Techies have long sought publishing – professional journals, trade publications, books – as a means to push their process, tout their technique and promote their name.

The concept has never been easier thanks to the Wiki and it’s the first place a Web 2.0-phobe should turn to self-promote “add business value to your career,” said Joe Gentry, CTO and Senior VP of Software AG, who fancies himself knowledgeable in the matters of IT career navigation.

“If you are a developer, analyst or administrator with a couple of decades under your belt, you’ll probably concede (as a good corporate citizen) that there’s a bunch of business domain knowledge stored inside your head that ought to be passed along to others in the organization before you call it a career,” Gentry said. “But writing a stack of traditional user manuals is like eating dirt, right?”

The author is kind enough to then link to PBwiki (along with two other companies who shall remain nameless) as a great tool to create and share your knowledge.

If you go down this path, don’t forget to share your knowledge with others by submitting your site to the Public PBwiki Directory.

The Foolproof 5-Step Way To Answer Tough Questions

28 Mar

I was having lunch yesterday with some friends, when the subject turned to questions and answers.  My friend had attended a conference panel, and complained that the panelists all failed to adequately answer her question.

(In defense of those panelists, the question was a difficult one without a clear right answer.)

I proceeded to answer the question, much to her satisfaction, and she asked me afterwards, “How do you give good answers to tough questions?”  I thought you marketers out there might be interested in my response.

1) Make sure you understand the question.  When someone asks me a question, I listen carefully, both to the words, and to the unspoken assumptions.  Two people might ask the exact same question in exactly the same words, but my answers to them would differ depending on tone, body language, and my history with that person.

2) Start your thinking broad, and narrow it down.  As I listen to questions, my brain is constantly jumping ahead, thinking about the various possible paths the question (and my answer) might take.  It’s a bit like watching a search box autocomplete, gradually narrowing down potential answers as I type.  That way, rather than searching for a single right answer and not knowing where to start, I simply winnow my down to the truth.

3) Always directly answer the question, even if the answer is “I don’t know” or “I can’t tell you that.”  I always give a direct response.  Unless you’re really slick, it’s unlikely the questioner will forget what they actually asked, and your attempts at evasion will simply madden them and reduce their estimation of you.

4) Make your answer interactive.  Just as I’m constantly making mental adjustments as I listen to the question, it’s wise to follow the same approach when answering.  Give one part of your answer, and check for agreement.  There’s no sense in erecting a massive rhetorical edifice if the listener disagrees with your basic assumptions.

5) Check afterwards to see if the questioner feels satisfied.  You’re answering the question, so you don’t have to stop until you feel like it.  Don’t let the desire to finish override the real goal, which is to convey understanding.  If it takes a little more time, better a longer response than an unconvincing one.

Want to see my answering techniques in action?  Attend our upcoming webinars:

  • Use PBwiki Templates to run your business more efficientlyApril 1st, 1:00pm EST
  • Using PBwiki for Project ManagementApril 15th, 1:00pm EST
  • PBwiki

    22 Feb

    That’s geek code for “PBwiki loves South by Southwest!” One of the advantages of a tool that’s simple to get set up and running with like PBwiki is that you can use it to make quick, ad-hoc workgroups at conferences like South by Southwest. If you’re looking to post your own itinerary or put together a spontaneous birds-of-a-feather session, come set up a new wiki with us and email with the address and I’ll add it to the official PBwiki SXSW page.

    David Weekly
    Founder & CEO

    PBwiki in Fortune Small Business / Tips On Driving Adoption

    12 Feb

    Fortune Small Business just wrote a nice article about how Lee Rosen of Rosen Law used his creativity to drive adoption of his PBwiki.

    Rosen offered a $1,000 cash prize to his 32 employees–for every page they created on the wiki, they earned a possible combination to the company safe (which contained the aforementioned $1,000).  At the end of three months, the prize went to Ben Sutton (pictured below).

    But Lee had the last laugh–by switching his people over to PBwiki, he saved $25,000 per year that he had been spending on running a Lotus Notes server.  And money wasn’t the only benefit:

    “The biggest reason that we’re switching is that the wiki is easier to use,” says Rosen. “If employees see a better way to organize or present information, they can just go ahead and do it with a wiki. With Lotus Notes, it required a programmer.”

    Maybe you don’t have $1,000 to spare to drive adoption of your wiki, but maybe you can modify Rosen’s technique to fit your organization.  How about giving your top user tickets to the game, or a night out on the town?

    If you get your entire company using PBwiki, the benefits will far outweigh the cost.

    Click here to read the Fortune Small Business article.

    101 ways to save time with a wiki! #3 Instant Meeting!

    10 Sep

    Whether its a small team meeting or a huge 1,000 person conference, it’s important to have a specific roadmap to guide your discussion. Having an agenda lets participants know where they’re headed, and keeps everyone on track.

    PBwiki is an awesome way to engage all of your attendees and shape the message that both you AND your participants want to discuss.

    Here’s how:
    1) Create a provisional agenda on a wiki page – posting the the call-in number and meeting time
    2) Invite your participants to post their meeting materials and edit agenda items
    3) Keep an eye on the edits and make changes when necessary

    The Leadership Learning Community is a great example of how a national meeting was developed using PBwiki. Check out there results here.


    As you can see the wiki agenda quickly becomes a dynamic, self organizing space where attendees can introduce discussion topics, decide how much time each topic receives and easily edit information as the meeting approaches.

    During the meeting the online agenda can serve as a note-taking template, and when the meeting is completed, the notes are instantly available online. Everyone can review the agenda / meeting notes and provide feedback.

    Why this saves time:

    1) Don’t waste time emailing meeting minutes to people, or answering repetitive questions about discussion points, or dial-in numbers.

    2) No need to collect meeting material – they’re on the wiki!

    3) Wikis increase buy-in and participation in the meeting by involving the entire team in the planning stages.