A couple days ago, I was speaking to the infamous founder of govloop, Steve Ressler. We were discussing ways businesses and government agencies use govloop. During this brainstorm, it occurred to Steve that a blog about Whorunsgov’s attempts to build a community for its moderated wiki could benefit many govloop members.
While I had heard that some government agencies were using wikis, it seemed much more of a widespread movement than I originally thought. As we at Whorunsgov try to convince people to contribute to profiles of noteworthy government officials, the Army is trying to persuade its organization to aid in writing new procedural manuals. At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security plans to use a wiki for cyber-security discussions while the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) created Intellipedia back in 2006 to encourage discussions among intelligence agencies.
All of these are fantastic uses for a wiki, but when it comes to public or employee interaction with a wiki, one needs much more than a good idea. The organization needs to convince contributors that they will get something out of building the wiki. And to celebrate a wiki’s community building premise, let’s discuss how to do this as a community!
Using examples from my experience at Whorunsgov, I’ll discuss what strategies work and what fails as Whorunsgov tries to engage and build a trustworthy community. I hope that as I explore strategies that Whorunsgov implemented, fellow govloop members will give ideas and examples from their past. Let us know why you decided to contribute to certain wikis. If you’ve created a wiki before, please let us know what worked for you. All of these types of discussions will not only give me some insight into why people decide to contribute to a wiki, but it should also help the government agencies that are implementing a similar platform.
And for the first – and probably best – tactic to engage contributors; beg! PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!