Wiki gardening

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Wiki gardening tips

A wiki is a place where people gather to collaborate. Like a meeting room or a living room, it gets cluttered after a little while. Another common metaphor is a garden, which gets overgrown without regular tending.

Spending small amounts of time gardening on a regular basis helps to make your wiki easy to navigate and a pleasant place to work.

Here are some techniques to use when you have some spare quality time to spend with the wiki. Add yours!

  • Pick some pages and clean them up -- correct misspellings, collect and condense comments, regularize the way lists or comments are formatted.
  • When you are working on a topic, find the relevant pages and make an index of those pages. These finder's aids are a long tradition in archives management where you need to quickly get to a few relevant documents mixed in with a large quantity of routine correspondence.
  • Add links from the home page to often-used index pages
  • Condense discussion into a statement of the end result, and add a link to the original discussion. See gardening, which was merged into this page.
  • Break long pages into meaningful sub-pages. Add links to the sub-pages from a main page.
  • Add existing pages to appropriate categories.
  • If you have old pages that you are no longer finding useful, make a link near the top of them to new pages that have more relevant information on the subject.
  • Remove obsolete material. Create linked archive pages if the material is useful
  • Everyone on the team can participate in continuous improvement. Depending on the structure of your team, it may make sense for one person to have special responsibility for maintaining a set of pages. Or it may make sense to have a designated gardener.
  • Gardening is most effective when it's done a bit at a time. Team members can take responsibility for making something they are working on more useful for everyone.
  • Please see research papers for more details and info.