A few months ago, as an experiment, Shawn, Mark and I attempted using a Wiki as a way to work collaboratively on a paper. What we found however was that the Wiki format forced us down a much too linear way of thinking essentially stifling our creative juices. Even though a paper is finally presented in (hopefully) a logical coherent format, the process and thinking which creates it is far from logical or coherent.
The planning stage should be the time when our minds are clearest and all barriers removed. I love technology, and I think slideware can be very effective in many situations. But for planning, I say “go analog” — paper and pen, white boards, a note pad in your pocket as you take a walk down the beach with your dog…whatever works for you.
It seems to me that maybe wikis are best used for programs and procedures type work. That is work where there are descriptions and definitions that can benefit from a collaborative approach. And of course, let’s not forget the power of the people. As Steve Rubel has pointed out, the Wikipedia has become the first open citizen-powered site to get into the top 10 news sites on the web…
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