Dan Bricklin, co-creator of VisiCalc (the spreadsheet software that’s credited with turning the personal computer into a serious business tool in the early 1980s), recently posted a podcast interview with Toby Redshaw of Motorola. The two discuss the growing use of wikis inside Motorola, and some great points emerge about the growth of wiki adoption inside a major Fortune 500 company.
For instance, adoption of the wiki has been completely viral, champions or “domain owners” help keep the quality of information high, and four people manage the system which has 75,000 users and handles 2.5 million transactions a day. That’s right – four people! This shows the immense benefit of lightweight, simple enterprise software. A November 2006 eWeek article on Motorola’s wiki use echoes this by pointing out that the company, “performed no cost/benefit analysis ahead of time and have not tracked return on investment. That’s because the investment in wiki technology is so low as to be negligible and the payback is intuitively understood, yet difficult to quantify.”
This is the second time Bricklin and Redshaw have met to discuss Motorola’s wiki use, and Bricklin has several other podcasts on wiki use – one with Navy Vice Admiral John Morgan and another with Asheesh Birla of Thomson Learning. They’re filled with great ideas and stories from the front lines of wiki adoption in the enterprise, well worth listening to, and I’ve added them to the Resources page on Wikipatterns.

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