wikipatterns – The First Enterprise Social Computing Playbook

grassroots.jpgMy copy of WikiPatterns arrived while I was away for the holidays, so it was a bit of a second Christmas when I arrived back to find that there was a package waiting for me. I couldn’t, as much as I tried, remember ordering anything, so I tore the envelope open and there it was: WikiPatterns.

Those who know me know that I am not a huge wiki proponent. I don’t talk about them very much and I probably don’t give them as much respect as they deserve. They are one of the few Enterprise Social Computing tools to have reall caught on and I admit: I have seen a lot of success inside companies who use them.

So it was in that state of mind that I jumped in and started reading WikiPatterns. If it was going to capture my attention it had to be more than a book about Wikis, it had to take a much broader view of collaboration and social software.

Wikipatterns starts off in the first chapter by recounting one of the stories behind the genesis of the Toyota Manufacturing Process set in 1950, well before there were wikis. Stewart makes a few key points that made me think this book was about more than just wikis

Instead of giving people a job, and trying to control how they work, it’s better to let go: give them the job, and let them figure out the best way to do it. . . The outcome is what matters, not the method. Not only is the end result better, but it’s not just a flash in the pan. It’s something sustainable. An isn’t that what every organization wants?

The book then dives right in and talks about the elephant in the room: Wikipedia. In the section called “The Wikipedia Factor” Stewart explains the differences between Wikipedia and your own internal company wiki.

Wikipatterns covers almost every component of Enterprise 2.0, from examining the effects on Knowledge Management, fantastic case studies to a guide to running your own pilot programs.

Without rehashing the entire book, I have to say that this one surprised me. This is your first Playbook that will help you break through the frustrations of trying to learn “what do I do next?” when you are eager to bring Enterprise 2.0 tools and strategies to your company.

I’ll be handing out copies to friends and clients.

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