Bridging Gaps With WikisRachel Everett
One great way to connect with the public is by building a Wiki. The word Wiki comes from the Hawaiian, meaning “quick”. And, that’s what a Wiki is: a fast and easy way to engage people. Specifically, it’s an online database that allows anyone to edit or add content. In creating a Wiki, you’re essentially inviting others to help take ownership of an issue. It’s democratic to the core. Everyone is on an equal playing field, and can suggest solutions that might not have been considered.
Surely, you’ve heard of Wikipedia (an online crowd-sourced encyclopedia). The public is free to edit Wikipedia and update its web pages, allowing it to grow and change over time. Many other sites embrace the community like this, so Wikipedia is not the only game in town. Many are pop culture related, using the fans’ love of a property to create an ever-evolving online database.
Many Wikis are used for more practical reasons. The country of New Zealand, for example, posted its Police Act online in 2007, asking the public to make changes at will. At the end of a period of time, the administrators were able to gather those suggestions and determine which were viable.
Advantages of Wikis
Wiki is a tool that generates, by its very nature, a lot of support. It invites and allows people to feel vested in a project and create the end result. It also provides a lot of transparency, because the public can be actively involved in a program. Discussion pages track disputes and the exchange of ideas. As a plus, all the changes that are made are tracked automatically, minimizing the amount of work needed on your end.
Wikis can also be designed for use by a single organization. These internal Wikis are extremely efficient for sharing information in-house. Outsiders have no access, and the Wikis can be used in conjunction with other information-sharing apps. Viderity is able to help focus your efforts by creating and maintaining a Wiki that is tailored to your goals. Whether you’d like to open up a discussion publicly or internally, we can help make that happen–in the process, enriching your programs and opening the flow of communication.