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Becoming Effective Wiki Collaborators

Modern technology of content creation implies the communication of the team of creators, contributors, and editors of the information published on the websites, often in a remote mode. One of the essential content management systems used for such collaboration is a wiki (Hawaiian word for quick), a website that enables anyone, who has access, to create new and edit existing information in it. Thus, wikis “provide a low-cost solution to knowledge management in terms of the creation and deployment of knowledge repositories” (De Vreede et al., 2016, p. 1). However, before writers can become effective wiki collaborators, they should understand several points, which will be outlined in this essay.

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First of all, wiki contributors should reconsider the questions of authorship, such as their personal credit and copyright, as most of the wikis do not mention the authors of the content. The second point is that writers have to be able to work in a team, as the final quality of the content is a product of collective creation. After that, the technical aspect of the process should be considered: the authors must use templates and be aware of the editing and commenting tools, not mixing them. For example, commentaries should not appear on the main page, as for that a particular section is provided. Some wikis include a “sandbox”, a space where the writer can practice their writing without being published. Many wikis provide guidelines to its co-authors, found on the website.

There are three kinds of contributions to a wiki, presented by three forms of work with the content: creating, editing, revising.

The first form is introducing a new wiki as a system, similar to Wikipedia or PlayStation. While doing this, the author should define the long-term purpose of a new wiki and elaborate on appropriate guidelines, editorial facilities, and security policies (Bovee & Thill, 2015, p. 213). The second type of wiki contribution is creating a new page in an existing wiki. Before formulating its subject, the writer should do careful research examining to what extent previously published pages already cover the content.

The third kind of wiki collaboration is editing the page of other authors. At this point, writers might be advised first to share their contrary ideas with page creators in the discussion section, rather than straight publish the additional data on the main page. Thus, as Bovee and Thill state, wikis “have compelling benefits,” but along with it, they “do require a unique approach to writing” (2015, p. 212). This must be considered by potential authors of the content.

In conclusion, it might be argued that wiki collaboration sets before writers the responsibility of careful examination of the information they want to publish. The reason for it is open access to most of the wikis, which means that the data of its pages will be widely distributed, constructing the world bank of knowledge. In this situation, writers must have extreme awareness and confidence in their competence in the field they would like to examine on the page of a wiki.


Bovee, C. L., & Thill, J. V. (2015). Business communication today. Pearson Education.

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De Vreede, G. J., Antunes, P., Vassileva, J., Gerosa, M. A., & Wu, K. (2016). Collaboration Technology in Teams and Organizations: Introduction to the Special Issue. Information systems frontiers, 18(1), 1–6.

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