Age of the Wikimania: the importance of online collaboration


The Web 2.0 and the easy access to bandwidth has ushered in some new paradigms in collaboration. The rise of the wikipedia (in general the open source wiki frameworks such as mediawiki) and P2P frameworks have transformed knowledge sharing in the open-source (or should i say open-knowledge) world.

The use of online collaboration technologies in managing knowledge sharing has made me a strong proponent of open-source collaborative systems – wikipedia, sourceforge, bugzilla, mind-maps to name a few. The success of the open source revolution can be attributed to different technology advancements in on-line collaborative systems. If google made it simpler for people to use the internet, wikipedia has brought knowledge sharing at the click of the mouse. These technologies have now started seeping into the intranet of organizations and effectively used for knowledge sharing and information management within and between groups. The ubiquitous nature of groups – often positioned across time zones and the need of easy-to-manage knowledge bases have championed the use of online collaboration.

In Wikinomics, Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams aptly desribe the use of mass collaboration for improving internal organizational processes to knowledge sharing. This is an interesting read and strongly recommended for those who are excited about the charms of collaboration and knowledge sharing.

If you are interested in setting up a wiki for your organization, I strongly recommed using mediawiki. Mediawiki with a mySQL support works great. All you would need is php, apache and a mysql server on a linux box to get going. It has easy to integrate features with any user management system.

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