At the bottom of the article, the author interviews Andrew about the use of Wikis in the enterprise. A couple of things jumped out at me:
This is a somewhat strange answer. In my experience, Wikis often start (and sometimes end) as an easier-to-use replacement for simple web publishing (an intranet that's easy-to-edit). For example, you have a bunch of resources that get shared and you want to put them up. Or you have a set of reference pages. The old way would be to work with your IT staff's content management system or to hand-craft web pages and go through a painful posting process. The new way is to use a Wiki and just click the edit button. Often, you don't really expect end-users to edit the pages when you start out. Sometimes, they end up editing them, sometimes they don't. But it is still easier. My strong belief is that:
Sean Silverthorne: Is Wikipedia a good model that transfers to a corporate environment?
Andy McAfee: No is the short answer here, simply because (a) how valuable is the corporate encyclopedia, and (b) how much enthusiasm or incentive do we have to contribute to the corporate encyclopedia? But an encyclopedia is only one of the things you can build with wiki technology.
Anytime you think about creating a web page, you should probably think whether it wouldn't be better to make it a Wiki.The article later discusses:
Silverthorne: Have you used wikis yourself?
McAfee: I can give you a couple of examples because I try to use wikis in a fair amount of my own work. I was organizing a 40-person conference of academics and needed to take care of all these administrative tasks that I really hate doing, like putting the schedule together. And I thought, "Ding, I'm going to outsource this to the people who are coming to the conference." So I put up a couple of initial wiki pages and e-mailed them to everyone. I said, "Here is the bare -bones schedule. You guys tell each other and tell all of us what you think we should do in each of these slots, and if you want to present in one of these 4 daily slots, just add your name to the list." And with very little pushback, the Web site for the conference self-assembled, and most people were quite happy with it. The amount of overhead went through the floor.
I also use them in my MBA course Managing in the Information Age. I tell my students that about half their grade will be based on wiki contributions. So I solve the incentive problem that way. And then I have to deal with all the problems of, "Well, what do you want us to do?" ("I'm not telling you.")
A couple of great examples. Both are uses in smaller workgroups which is probably an early place to look for adoption. I've similarly used Wikis in conjunction with a class environment, and it's quite natural, especially if you have collaborative exercises defined for the students.