The subject of wikis came up at a recent meeting so I thought I would repost this gem from last year explaining what wikis are and how they are being used today.
In a recent post I talked about new media marketing and the plethora of tools it brings to marketers. In that article I promised more articles looking at new technologies that can be used by marketers to more effectively serve their customers and spread the word. Today I am going to focus on wikis.
A wiki is a website application that allows users to collaborate. They can update and change content very easily. Wikis are simple to use and easy to set up and best of all, costs aren’t excessive.
Until recently, I hadn’t realised the marketing potential that wikis provide. I attended the most recent Case Camp Vancouver where a local Vancouver organisation called Open Road Communications showcased a successful implementation of its Thought Farmer intranet portal – a wiki based platform that allows employees to post/make changes, interact and setup discussion groups that in turn build strong corporate identities and cultures. If you want to be successful marketing your product to the external community, you must first and foremost believe in your offering by successfully marketing internally to build brand identity and corporate culture within the organisation and wiki based tools help you do do this.
Wikis are not just useful as internal portals. They also present a great way to enhance customer service. An online wiki that allows both internal and external users of your product/service to share tips/improvements and to generally help them get the most from your offering can only serve to enhance the user experience.
I was talking about wiki applications to Julie Anderson, Director of Marketing at Peoplemaps a client in Scotland that provides on-line pyschometric analysis for employers and job seekers and she brought to my attention some of the neat wiki applications they use. They take advantage of software from PBwiki to allow online partner collaboration as well as to provide a media centre that is easily updated by employees and gives all the information potential clients, media and folk like me need to know about the organisation. People maps is also using wikis internally to allow easy and cost effective collaboration on new software projects (their developers are in the Ukraine and its saving them a ton on phone calls) and to provide an internal portal for their staff (similar to the Open Road application). For more information, check out the Peoplemaps blog On the map: Easy as making a sandwich?
In addition to the customer service enhancements and internal marketing applications, wikis can also be used to reduce the load on e-mail servers by collaborating via wiki rather than sending large documents via e-mail; they have great potential to improve CRM applications by allowing remote teams to share client information and they can act as a great central repository for file sharing.
If you want to check out some of the enterprise wiki solutions out there, go to: