[thelist] Knowledge base/Wiki/Shared Docs: Recommendations?

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Fri Jan 20 11:53:08 CST 2012

On Jan 20, 2012, at 6:21 AM, Francis Marion wrote:

> I have the task of creating a system for managing information at my company. These would range from procedures (what and how do departments to) to background knowledge (what is the CMYK for rich black) to a news mailing (think of the tips digest). Basically, our company needs to start creating an accessible "memory bank". I'd love it if there were a strongly tag based approach as well as hierarchical.

Ah, you appear to be talking about an Intranet.

> The criteria is that it must be free or cheap and super easy to use and relatively pretty. If it's not pretty and easy to use, people won't get into the habit of using it.

Pretty (as opposed to 'not actively ugly') is no more than a satisfier. People *will* use something basic if it has the right info on and they can get to it.

> I'm considering a wiki,

Multiple Wikis most likely...

> but I'm not 100% sure if that would be easy to use for luddites.

Easy to use comes in 2 flavours: for knowledge contributors/editors and for knowledge consumers.

The things that make each true are wildly divergent.

Also remember that for the second (which is where you get the benefit), different people with different levels of experience have wildly varying search strategies - simple search is OK, but only satisfies a subset.

Tags are good
Hierarchy/Categorisation is good (and do some googling for decision trees for real deep arcane stuff)
Having clarifying questions to include/exclude areas of knowledge is good.

Enabling people to recommend particularly helpful pages is good, if it impacts your result scoring.
Up-ranking frequently accessed pages is good
Being able to promote time-sensitive info (eg end of month/quarter activities) is good
Putting together role-based Info Cards (ie single pages with key tasks/info for that role) is good.

(builder of one very large intranet, user of another, and builder of 2 critical knowledgebases)

> Spammers: Send me email -> yumyum at easyweb.co.uk to train my filter

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