People keep telling me how wonderful wikis are, how they let people work together in new and creative ways, and how they can harness the wisdom of groups. What a bunch of horse manure!
So says eWeek's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.
But wait. It gets better.
The real problem with wikis is the same one that groupware has: it's a wonderful idea that most people never use.
For example, I really like Notes. No, I really do, and there was a time I was a decent Notes programmer. Notes enables a team scattered around the country to do otherwise impossible tasks quickly and efficiently. Then there's the great majority of the time, when Notes users move like a slug running uphill.
He goes on with "in all the cases I've personally seen, is that the collaboration tools end up gathering dust.," and ends with an endorsement of one and only one collaboration tool: mailing lists.
Yeah, Steve. Works great. Especially when your mailbox quota is 100 MB.
The reason collaboration tools gather dust, when they do, has nothing to do with the tools. It has very little to do with the users. It mostly has to do with failure of organizations to invest in training, and in organizational and cultural change. It has to do with organziations' failure to measure effectiveness of collaboration, and failure to reward managers for their group's investment in improved collaboration.
1. Nathan T. Freeman05/24/2006 04:51:59 AM
Yet another IT reporter who sits around with blinders on. How marvelous.
2. Stu Downes05/24/2006 07:15:36 AM
I can only agree with you Richard. Without a corporate policy in place on collaboration and the backup of improving users technology and soft skills to best utilise the collaborative tools then they fail. My own experience, working with folks that implement collaborative solutions, is that even we are terrible at using them and most collabortive workplaces end up as document repositories with little vibrancy and discussion which is the key to a lively collaborative environment.