I knew a little about wikis before being sent a review copy of Stewart’s new book, but nothing prepared me for what lay between the sheets of paper when I received it.
and WOW! again.
This book is an absolute gem!
Normally I have a real fear of reading books by North American writers; they seem to suffer from “excessive verbiage and repetitive content” syndrome. Not this book, though.
Stewart has put together a superb introduction to wikis; as the subtitle of the book says,
“a practical guide to improving productivity and collaboration in your organisation”
To give you a flavour of the content, here’s some snippets I highlighted (once I opened the book there was so much great info I had to get the yellow highlighter out and start wiping it across chunks of text):
When groups work together to find the best way to get a job done, the high quality of work is sustainable because they’re finding out the best about themselves, combining individual complimentary strengths and talents, and refining their methods at a very high level. Because they control how they work, people are more self-reflective, constructively critical of their own work, and motivated to make the best contribution possible because they take greater pride in the quality of their work.
A wiki is simply a website in which users can create and collaboratively edit pages, and easily link them together.
[Referring to the process of emails and attachments that have to be reviewed and 'signed off' by various parties] If you think about this visually, the email/attached document scenario has limited periods of creativity separated by the logistical and socially sensitive task of combining edits. The wiki completely changes this by shifting logistics to the shortest possible segment of time at the outset, leaving a much greater period of time for collaborative creativity and knowledge construction.
The Web is becoming a place for the collaborative construction of information on an incredible scale, and the wiki is at the center of this transformation. Almost anyone you meet has heard of Wikipedia, and people are increasingly seeing how the wiki combines simplicity and power in a radically different, paradigm shifting way. In fact, I might venture to say that the wiki is the most significant development on the Internet since the web browser.
Imagine what could happen if you had a 3D wiki???
And all of the above quotes can be found by page 5. Imagine what insights you are going to come across by page 153?!?!
I’m already up to page 87 (Chapter 5) and I’m totally rethinking my working habits. Totally rethinking.
I even hopped over to the Social Media Training wiki and added some content, I was so inspired!
I know of a book in the pipeline this year that hasn’t been released yet. I’ve read it. It is a ‘if you only buy one book this year…’ kind of book. I now have to change my thought to:
If you only buy two books this year, make sure Wikipatterns is one of them!