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Does your wiki have the Q&A blues?

Posted by Gia Lyons on July 2, 2008

Tell me if you’ve heard this one (I have, from several customers)…

Them: “We implemented a wiki so that our team could share their expertise with a wider audience.”

Me: “That’s great! That’s how many have gotten their feet wet with Enterprise 2.0 over the past couple of years.”

Them: “Well, it works great for co-authoring documentation, and creating a knowledge base, but the comments/discussions feature just doesn’t do it for us when it comes to our Question & Answer needs.”

Me: “Really? Why?”

Them: “We’d like to be able to mark a question as answered, and have the people who provide the answers receive points when their answers are helpful or correct. We want them to get the recognition they deserve, but have the system do all the work for us.”

Me: “Ah I see.”

That’s when I tell them about Clearspace’s Community Everywhere.

With Community Everywhere, you can embed discussion threads directly into existing news articles, blog posts or other content that would benefit from comments or discussions. Instead of forcing users to leave your content to create a comment or view a discussion thread, you use Community Everywhere to enable users to participate in discussions while on the page that contains your content.

You can choose to display one of the following on your wiki pages (or news articles, or non-Clearspace community sites that have less-than-stellar discussion features, or press releases, or home-grown web applications, or portal pages, etc.):

  • Display “Discuss This” Link
  • Display “Discuss This” Link and Recent Posts
  • Display “Discuss This” Link, Recent Posts, and Comment Box

The beautiful part of this is that, if you ultimately want your people to use Clearspace instead of that wiki implementation, this is the painless way to do a behavior migration first. You don’t have to migrate any wiki content right away, if at all. Instead, simply ease people into Clearspace via Community Everywhere in your wiki. Over time, Clearspace wiki pages might become the preferred solution, especially since folks can watch individuals, or specific pieces of content (wiki pages, uploaded files, blogs and blog posts, projects, spaces, etc.), or specific topics, and receive email notifications or an RSS feed whenever those watched people or things are updated.

I usually prefer to just watch the subject matter experts in knowledgebase environments such as this. I’ll get everything they create, comment on, and answer.

And, Clearspace’s discussion component allows the people who ask the question to designate which answers are helpful, and which answer is correct. There are points assigned to each designation, which are awarded to the people who provide the answers. These points accumulate, along with points earned elsewhere in Clearspace, to create a reputation rating for each person. This is displayed on the person’s profile, and anywhere their name shows up throughout Clearspace.

So, go ahead and use Clearspace along with your existing wiki environment, and use Clearspace’s Community Everywhere to solve those Q&A blues.

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2 Responses to “Does your wiki have the Q&A blues?”

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