Most of us have been exposed to Wikipedia , and if the content on it is anything to go by its been a roaring success. There is no doubt that this tool is a great way of allowing people to collaborate and create content on the fly. The very fact that the level of control and monitoring is not very high, and in most cases self-governed, makes it even more impressive.
Right, so we agree that a wiki is a great tool to get people to start collaborating but the question is how successful would it be within the context of a project ( in an organization )?
While there has been a change over the last few years with a number of organizations embracing wiki tools it is a slow process and will take time. Traditional behavior still dictates that we do all our work using word documents ( when it comes to building content ) and then send it back and forth between various parties as changes are made. Of course there is the added pleasure of ensuring that the versions are controlled to prevent people from working on a different version of the document.
The Wiki would solve this problem, but very few people have actually experienced using a wiki for the sake of creating content, for most users the exposure to a wiki is limited to Wikipedia . So it is very important to walk people through the actual process of creating content on a wiki. Use the fact that any mistake can be rolled back immediately to allow users to make mistakes during their experimentation stage.
To be successfully used the most important thing to keep in mind is that the Wiki should be the base to create content, not just as a location to have finished content reside. The goal here is to break the mold of relying on documents to collaborate.