That Was The Week That Was
Earlier this year my employer bought two companies who are also in the trading arena. One's based in Norway and Scotland, and the other's in Switzerland. This means we have even more wiki users to cater for and bring together. 

One of the problems any organisation faces when it's spread around the globe is creating unity. What can we do to bring people together so that we're connected?

The answer is, of course, the wiki: home of sharing and collaboration. 

But you knew I'd say that. But it isn't so simple is it? 

Well, no. You have to get people involved and the only way to do that is to show how it benefits them. And how do you do that when there's 400 people working in offices as far apart as the USA, the UK and Singapore? Good question: it's not going to be easy, but I have a cunning plan.

But First, This!
When pages are edited one of the things that has to happen is that anyone who's interested in the page should be notified of the change. This is easy enough if they were the page's creator or if they're someone who's edited the page already - they get updated automatically. As does anyone who's been added to the page as a Watcher.

But what about clients, how do they find out? Well it's very easy, all you have to do is add the Recently Updated macro to the home page of the space you want to take the data from, set up a couple of parameters - such as the way you want results displayed and the number of results shown, and press Save. Bingo! Finished.

Every time the page is opened or refreshed the list updates automatically. By having this on our user information's home page, anyone who opens it can see not only the most recent updates, but who made them and when. These are all shown as links, and there's a link to the page itself so users can jump directly to it. Which is very handy if it's of particular interest to them. 

And it saves me bags of time too: in our previous wiki I had to add all this data manually, so I've saved myself as much as 30 mins or more per day just by using one simple macro that takes about two minutes to set up (and forget).

Share and Collaborate
With something like eight different parts of the company producing a wide variety of documentation (everything from user info to sales and marketing) one of our challenges is making sure we're all using the corporate ID etc, but there's something else that's just as important: knowledge sharing.

And knowledge can be anything from the sort of docs each office produces to the tools we use. So what can we do about sharing our knowledge, skills and experience? Where can we keep it and how to make sure everyone who's involved knows where they can find this info AND stay in the conversation loop?

There's only one place of course: our very own wiki home; the Global Documentation space. 

At the moment this has very little info but it has it's own blog already (which is automatically included when you create a new space), plus a couple of other pages listing the team members and their 
details, including their areas of knowledge and skills.

Over the next few days I intend to add some info about what our office produces and how, and once that's done I'll be adding all the documentalists as Watchers (Tools/Manage Watchers) so they'll all be updated when I publicise the space to them (by editing the home page, which will have a welcome message and explanation about what the space is for). 

Once that's done, we will run all our conversations through the wiki and not use email. That way everyone will be kept up to date with everything as it happens, and all the conversations, content updates and comments will be in one easy-to-search space, and nothing will be lost or duplicated.

And once we've had that up and running for a couple of months, I intend to demo it to other departments and show them how, with very little effort, they can achieve the same thing and enjoy the benefits of sharing and collaborating.

You can find out more about wiki collaboration by clicking here.

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