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I was pleasantly surprised to find Stewart Mader visiting Atlassian’s offices today and chatting with our Confluence Marketing Dude, Bill Arconati.
As some of you may remember, Stewart was our very own wiki evangelist before going out on his own and starting his full time consulting practice, Future Changes.
He’s doing really well and blogs regularly over at futurechanges.org
I sat down to catch up with Stewart and chat about what he sees going on and the future of wikis.
Here’s what he had to say:

How’s the wiki adoption consulting business?

Business is good. We’re into the mode that businesses that know they’re going to survive the recession are starting to work and invest on strategic projects that are going to make their businesses healthier.
How should new businesses think about wikis?
The right way for a business to think about a wiki is not as an esoteric, experimental tool, but as an indispensable part of their daily work. Just like email. That’s the baseline key to good adoption.
Wikis aren’t a fad. The average knowledge worker should think of email and the wiki as their two core tools: one for communication and the other for collaboration.
What’s a healthy form of wiki adoption?
Wiki adoption should be steady. When it becomes too rapid, you’ve lost control of making sure people are using it in consistent ways. And that’s an issue for a 10,000 person company because you don’t want 10,000 people doing things in 10,000 different ways.
You want everyone to start from a set of consistent starting points and best practices to help the wiki flourish. The key is giving users a set of practices to start with, then letting them tweak and refine them to best fit their specific business processes.
Thanks Stewart!
To learn more about healthy patterns of wiki adoption and growth, check out wikipatterns.com
Stewart recently published a new report entitled, “Why Business Don’t Collaborate”. This report explores how people plan meetings and get group input on project materials, and how the tools they use affect the quality and efficiency of their output, and their sense of accomplishment. For more information click here.

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