According to Wikipedia…
A wiki is a website that uses wiki software, allowing the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked Web pages, using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor, within the browser.
So, in other words, it is a web site builder. What’s so special about that?
The web site building feature is not the interesting part. The interesting part is the fact that anyone can create, edit, add on and correct the information on the page anytime, anywhere using just a simple web browser. It’s kind of like Bob writing a proposal which he then sends out to Nancy and Jack for them to look over. They scribble their notes or cross out lines of text and send it back to Bob. Many people working on one document. The only difference is, the document is web based and everyone who has access to it can view it – instead of being passed around.
Yet how does something like this fit into a small, solo entrepreneur business like most of us have? The best answer – a wiki would make a fantastic knowledge repository. Here’s why.
We solo entrepreneurs carry an awful lot in our heads. I used to think this was great but these days, I don’t want to remember. I want to offload because my memory is not always accurate or reliable , it helps a lot to unload what’s in our heads onto writing. Writing (or in this case typing) things down makes us more relaxed since we know the information is filed away safely and not forgotten. When you have less to remember, you’ll also function better. Kind of like our computer memory. The more you load it, the slower it becomes until it finishes processing everything.
Writing things down is also great when you outsource your tasks. Now, you don’t have to spend so much time training someone. We still have to invest a little bit of training to get someone new up to speed but if you have tasks and procedures documented, your personal time commitment is reduced. You can tell them to study/read the document and ask you questions if unclear. Great time saver.
Again, where does the wiki fit in? I think a wiki is perfect for internal documentation like this especially when you outsource your tasks because then, the burden of keeping accurate documents is distributed. Sure you can just as easily write up documentation on your word processor and send it out but if your VA makes a suggestion that you decide to implement or if there’s a change in policy or a simple edit for clarity, you still have to edit the document.
Using a wiki, your VA can edit the document without having to wait on you or have files sent to each other. This can reduce email volume plus, any edits become live immediately. The result, your team always has access to the latest information.
How do you set up a wiki? You have the option of installing the scripts on your own web site. This is probably better if you’re not comfortable storing information on a third party site and aren’t afraid of a little geek speak. You could check these out:
Or you can have completely hosted wikis like:Sigurd Decroos