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Study questions: Edit wiki pages

This is my site Written by Joachim Lindner on 19. November 2010 – 12:41

Wikis are part of every Enterprise 2.0 Suite. So we need to define the right questions for this topic working on the Enterprise 2.0 Suite. I would like to share my thoughts about the edit functions of a wiki with you.

Editing the content can be done with a WYSIWYG editor best and you need at least the basic functions to format the font style. There are still some other functions which are very helpful. So we would like to add these topics to our questionnaire. Please comment, if you are missing something or you think we need to change something.

Default font button
A lot of times authors using existing text by copy/paste from MS Word, web pages or other sources. Mostly the formatting of the content will be copied as well. So a page won’t look very nice. You can change it by using the different functions like font size, style etc, but it would be much better to have a default fond button and you do have the advantage that you don’t need to know which font is the right and so on. You just have to mark the text and using this button. Insert content without formatting can be helpful as well or generally paste content without.

Inserting images, videos, documents etc
I have worked with a wiki, which didn’t provide a good function to add image, video’s etc. You had to upload it to a resource area, copy the link and then using the link to insert the image into the content.
A simple add image or add video button is the best solution for me. Then you just need to browse to the image on your hard disk and that’s it.

Draft pages
Analyzing some vendor web pages I found some interesting functions. One of these was to create draft pages. People are not used to publish content which isn’t ready. To have an option creating draft pages can help to convince user to start using the wiki. It’s also useful, if you have to interrupt your work.

Creating your own template
It’s useful to create templates which contain the same kind of content. One way is to ask the admin to do it, but it’s a good option to allow user creating pages and using it as a template.

The hierarchy of a wiki is flat, if you are thinking about pure wiki functionality, but people are thinking in hierarchical structures organizing content. So it will be much easier for the user, if they can work within a wiki with a hierarchical structure.  A function to change hierarchy is needed than as well.
It can be helpful as well. if users would like to work within a protected area. You can prepare a page with restricted access and inherit the restrictions to all pages which are further down in hierarchy.

Creating new pages
For sure there need to be a button to create new pages, but most wikis allow creating a new page out of the content. One example is putting some text into brackets (or double) like [[name of new page]]. It’s a link to a new empty page than or to an existing one, if the text fits to the title of a page.

Duplicate content
One problem is that you create probably two or more pages with the same content, because you are using a different name. One author is using marriage and the other wedding for example. The content would be very similar. The only way I know is to take care with a wiki gardener to avoid duplicate content. Probably there are other (automatic) functions available, like using a thesaurus for example.

I saw a wiki case which provided the option to commend on sections of a page. This can be helpful, if you are developing a long process. Some author’s doe have the right to describe it and other can comment every step. I like this idea. For sure you need to be able to comment articles.

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