Sand and Stone

by pieterh on 23 Jul 2009 20:26

Today, a question to those using Wikidot for ongoing projects. Do you make a distinction between discussions written in sand, and those written in stone? And if so, how do you make this distinction using Wikidot?

In a classic (well-organised) project, we'll set-up some email lists and a wiki. The email lists are used for chatter, events, things that happen. That's the sand. The wiki gets used for knowledge, analyses, stories, reports, bookmarks. That's the stone. Well, it's soft stone but eventually it sets hard. We could use forums but these don't usually send out emails, so lack the 'eventing' that makes life easy. Checking fifty forums for updates every morning is… painful.

Some people try to use the email lists for knowledge, "here is my report of such and such an event" and get politely asked to put it on the wiki. Searching email is not fun unless it's for very specific things like that e-ticket to San Francisco. But a well-built wiki can be a treasure box of valuable knowledge.

You'll have noticed that we're pushing Wikidot to become a kind of integrated communications tool, and notifications on wiki pages can start to replace email lists and forums. It's early days, there are still chunks missing (like a notification when someone watches or unwatches a page, and like a lot fewer edit notifications), but our goal is really to make this capable of replacing email lists. Much simpler, but as useful.

So my question. Well, questions… How do we separate the sand from the stone? How do you allow chatter to happen in one space, and knowledge to be published in another. How do you do this on your wikis today? Do you use different categories? Do you use separate wikis? And what is still missing from Wikidot to make this work neatly?

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