StewartwithBook.JPGWho makes up the Atlassian staff? You’ve already met Donna, our support diva. Now meet Stewart, our Wiki Evangelist. Here’s a snippet from the interview:

Your Wikipatterns book is hot-off-the-press. Besides being your baby, why is it special?
It’s a practical how-to guide for change management. That’s the most critical part of wiki adoption — the technology is the easy part. The book exists to give wiki evangelists a handbook for working effectively inside their organizations.

Read on to learn more about what Stewart thinks of the wiki market, Wikipatterns, blogging tips and more.
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Interview with Stewart Mader, Wiki Evangelist

You’re Atlassian’s “official” Wiki Evangalist. How did that come about?
This is a long story, best told over many pints. The short version is that Jon found me via my blog when I was publishing the Using Wiki in Education ebook. I blogged about how I came to decide that self-publishing on a wiki would be best, he offered me a copy of Confluence, and the rest is history.
Why are you such a wiki fan?
It’s a logical, fun, human tool. Most business software misses the point that people are the ones actually using it and it should meet their needs. People respond well to wikis because wikis work with them in a very natural way.
What is Wikipatterns.com?
Wikipatterns is a collection of ideas, strategies, and tips for growing wiki use in organizations, and it was launched shortly after I joined Atlassian.
Has the response to Wikipatterns website met your expectations?
It’s been phenomenal. The site has grown from about 29 patterns in February ’07 (when it launched) to about 90 patterns today. There are currently 1247 registered community members, of which 308 have contributed content. We started with 3 members, so that growth is phenomenal.
WikipatternsBook.png
Your Wikipatterns book is hot-off-the-press. Besides being your baby, why is it special?
It’s a practical how-to guide for change management. That’s the most critical part of wiki adoption — the technology is the easy part. The book exists to give wiki evangelists a handbook for working effectively inside their organizations.

Old, new, prime — what’s the current state of wiki software?
The overall market is just taking off. Software is in its prime and improving at a much faster rate than traditional enterprise software apps.

Fill-in-the-blank: It irks me when someone describes a wiki by ______.
Not describing them at all.
What’s a best practice you’ve adopted by working at Atlassian?
Stand-up meetings are a great way to keep connected to what others are doing, and measure your own progress on projects.
You’re an avid blogger. What 2 points would you give to beginner bloggers?

  1. Identify your ideal reader, and write for that person. My ideal reader is the person in an organization who’s championing wikis and working to grow adoption.
  2. Format your posts for easy reading. Use bold, italics, lists, images, and short paragraphs to make your posts readable and non-intimidating. And ask questions at the end — that prompts comments!

How much time to you spend reading, writing and responding to blogs daily?
About an hour on each — I start by writing so that I have my contribution to my audience done before I get caught up reading. Then, I read in a structured way — posts from people who’ve mentioned my blog or Wikipatterns.com first (so I can comment or write derivative posts), then other social media, wiki, and enterprise software related posts. Whenever I’m reading, I’m looking for information I can write about.
ON THE MORE PERSONAL SIDE
Stewart.JPGDo you evangelize anything else like you do wikis?
Just Apple products 🙂
#1 thing still on your ‘must accomplish this lifetime’ list?
Share the stage with Steve Jobs.
You’ve noted that a new year’s resolution is to drink more beer. What’s your preferred pint thus far?
Hoegaarden.
Would you like to add anything else?
Americans, make sure you vote in the presidential election! Look no further than the Aussies for example: they changed the top party leadership in their election — we can too!
Thanks a bunch, Stewart! Keep on evangelizing. 🙂

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