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Corporate wiki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A corporate wiki is a wiki application designed to be used in a corporate context. Relying on the basic structural features of wikis, such as free-editing by users, openness, availability, they allow any companies to implement wiki solutions that fit their needs.


Wikis appeared around 1995 but their popularity greatly increased with the apparition and diffusion of the Internet-based Encyclopaedia Wikipedia. They represent a new form of coordination tools, relying on the fact that everyone can add information to their pages. An extended review is available on the wiki page. Wiki solutions are increasingly used by companies and public sector organizations, some of them as prominent as Adobe, Microsoft or even the FBI. They represent an alternative way to centrally-managed Content Management Systems. They potentially allow a more flexible approach to Project Management than dedicated software.

Review of Potential Corporate Uses

For a short overview of what wikis can provide to enterprises compared with traditional CMS, see: Wiki#Wikis and content management systems.

Other features that really deserve attention include:

  • Avoiding e-mail overload. By overturning the fact that mailboxes are fundamentally closed spaces, wikis allow all relevant information to be shared by people working on a given project. Conversely, only the wiki users interested in a given project need look at its associated wiki pages, in contrast to high-traffic mailing lists which may burden many subscribers with many messages, regardless of relevance to particular subscribers.
  • Accounts Management. Users can be allowed or not to access and/or edit given pages. This means that users can be allowed to see/edit a page which theme they are supposedly knowledgeable about -- and prevented if they are not.
  • Building consensus. Wikis provide a framework for collaborative writing. Particularly, they allow the structured expression of views disagreed upon by authors on a same page. Wikis running on the MediaWiki software take this further with talk pages associated with every page, to allow for unlimited discussion and debate about any page, while keeping the page itself concise and to the point.
  • Organizing information. Wikis allow users to structure new and existing information with features such as: wikilinks, interwiki links, external links, categories, namespaces, portals, and redirects. As with content on a wiki, the structure is also editable by users. Individual users can use wiki features to customize their own views of content pertinent to them.
  • Division of labor. Wikis use a compact markup language called wikitext. Novice users can usually distinguish markup codes from visible text content, and make small edits to the text content on a page, before they have learned much of the markup language. Advanced users can monitor and edit the content typed in by novice users, adding in advanced formatting, links, and so on.

Contemporary trends

Several wiki-providing companies have been created during the period 2000 - 2006. The most prominent include, but are not limited to, Socialtext, Jotspot, Atlassian, Traction TeamPage. Their aim is to provide all ranges of companies with ready-made wiki solutions that can be adapted to SMEs as well as multinational corporations. Amongst those companies, the competition lies as much in corporate philosophy as in what the products look like. For example, Socialtext values simplicity where JotSpot puts an emphasis on user-friendly interface and various new applications. Most of them have adopted an Open-Source mindset and allow developers to create purposed applications.

See also

  • Atlassian Confluence
  • Collaborative editing
  • Collaborative writing
  • CustomerVision BizWiki
  • Enterprise social software
  • JotSpot
  • List of wiki software
  • Socialtext
  • Structured wiki
  • TWiki
  • Traction TeamPage
  • Wiki application
  • Wikinomics (book)
  • Wikipedia:Why Wikipedia is so great specific to Wikipedia, but corporate wikis can function similarly


  • Andersen, Espen (2005). Using Wikis in a Corporate Context. Handbuch E-Learning. A. Hohenstein and K. Wilbers (eds). Kln, WoltersKluwer. 5.8: 15.
  • Guy, Marieke (2006). Wiki or Won't He? A Tale of Public Sector Wikis. Ariadne Issue 49.

External links

  • CorporateWikis - a page about corporate wikis on WikiWikiWeb, the very first wiki
  • b:Wiki Science/How to start a Wiki#Business Environments
  • Description of corporate wikis on WikiWikiWeb, the very first wiki
  • "Wikis evolve as collaboration tools" - InfoWorld Jan 2007 review of Wiki products designed for enterprise use
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