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Marshall's Web Tool Blog

Training and Consulting in New Tools for Effective Web Use

This site is an archive of posts that I hope you will find useful. Please visit my new site at Marshallk.com.

Wiki session completed

Last night I presented a group wiki for a non-profit organization in Portland to use as an internal communications system. I hadn't spoken to a group of people in years, and though I used to be very good at it, I was super nervous last night. Things didn't go a bit like I expected, it was very informal, but it was a good experience for me as I begin this type of work.

The important thing is that the group was excited to use the wiki. They were excited before I came, but now they understand how to use it and are full of ideas for topics and documents that would be appropriate to put in their wiki. That's fantastic. I will now continue being in contact with them in order to assist their adoption of the program. It should save them a lot of time and headaches, as well as making their monthly meetings more effective.

For those interested, we ended up choosing PmWiki to use. It was not difficult for the group's tech support team to download onto their server, and it has been quite simple so far to configure.

The feature the group was most responsive to (beyond the fundamental coolness of a wiki site that can hold all their content and be easily edited by any group member) was PmWiki's email notification system. It is designed to be configurable to stagger email notification of changes made to pages. Instead of sending one email out for every tiny change, sometimes 5 or 10 made quickly in a row by a single user, the program notes when a change is made, waits 20 minutes and then sends one email with all the changes made in that time period. That's a pretty fantastic feature.

I hope that some of the group's members will stop by this blog (hi!) and perhaps leave a comment now and then about any thoughts on wikis they come up with during use.

I will be writing a post soon about "wiki manners" or use-tips and for posting both here and in the wiki I demo'd last night.


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