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Improving Engagement With Wikis and Blogs from Mohammad Daniyal's blog

I was having coffee with a lawyer friend the other day who was struggling to improve engagement with a wiki she had set up a few months ago. She thought it was a great wiki, well designed, with plenty of useful content (and as a practising lawyer in the field herself, I'm sure she was right) but it still wasn't really engaging the other lawyers in the community of practice yet.

Our conversation reminded me what a common issue this is, for which there is no magic solution. This post is for The hidden wiki link and draws together some top tips which I hope will help. If you have your own top tips, let me know as I'd love to hear what is working in other law firms.

10 Do's

Use this technology with the right groups - the group needs the right level of trust, technical expertise/enthusiasm, the right culture and you must be able to address their privacy concerns.

Use it for the right purpose - focus on a key problem that needs to be solved, which offers a tangible benefit. Sell the wiki to your lawyers by selling that benefit.

Don't compromise on ease of use - don't enforce inflexible page templates, although some guidance may help new users; respond flexibly if the community starts to use the technology in different ways (as long as it furthers your business strategy of course).

Use the right content - integrate with other technologies (RSS feeds, e-mail) as far as possible for maximum population for minimum effort, but make sure it is useful content; keep it useful & trustworthy - when people see the benefits, they will use the technology.

Encourage contributions - encourage junior members of staff to contribute and respond positively to anyone who contributes, don't just accept their contributions; if possible, try not to have someone who is paid to populate the wiki or blog as fewer people will then bother ("but that is his/her job"); have an ongoing programme of reminders to staff and training about the wiki/blog's usefulness & how to use it; and use the personal touch - keep language friendly & avoid a "corporate" tone on blogs.

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