MediaWiki limits Enterprise 2.0

I have had a fair share of hands-on time with wikis. With that said, I’ve come to a conclusion — MediaWiki inhibits Enterprise 2.0.

I’m with Gil on this. I recognise that MediaWiki *never* claimed to be an enterprise social computing tool and that in many instances it was the bridgehead that introduced wikis inside the firewall, but it isn’t really fit for enterprise purposes beyond a very narrow use case. Gil goes on to describe four inhibitors: No rich text editor, no fine grained access control, no document management and no additional collaboration features.


6 thoughts on “MediaWiki limits Enterprise 2.0

  1. I couldn’t disagree with you more!!There’s something immensely pure about MediaWiki and the behaviours it instills in people. Rich text editing can be patched a little with FCK editor and whilst there’s no additional features you extend the colloboration through instigating behaviour change in the people.As soon as you move into an Enterprise-style wiki you will always get the ability to lock various sections. With that you inherently lose some of the beauty of a wiki.Having said that, if MediaWiki is your only E2 tool then you won’t get very far but then it wouldn’t be MediaWiki inhibiting social business it would be your implementation that is limiting social business.

  2. Sid, is representing the position of the Orthodox Wikian. I explained in my post that I used to be one too, and why I changed. For Enterprise 2.0 to reach the masses (within a normal company) it must also appeal to the secular wikian. The secular wikian is more than willing to use the wiki as long as they have no clue that they happen to be using a wiki. They just see an edit button where they need to edit something and the rest comes naturally. If you get the seculars, you have the masses. If you miss them, you have an echo chamber, or just a wiki of wikians.I admire Orthodoxy and was once an Orthodox wikian myself (though still an Orthodox Jew, but that’s a completely different story 😉 so I do appreciate the immensely purity of wiki behaviors that it instills. But most people in the enterprise just want to get their work done. The FCK editor gets quite useless in many complex, real-world wiki situations. It simply surprised me that the open source community did not provide something that was much better.Locking some sections of a wiki is certainly unorthodox. Locking the entire wiki is sacrilegious. But allowing for some selective locking when needed is a helpful feature. Not having it at all — is a problem. And now, a couple of years after the big heyday of MediaWiki “workapedia” projects (my word), we want more — and we can get more using commercial wikis.BTW, I credit @rickladd who added another religious twist — the fundamentalist wikian, who feels that no editing should be needed at all. 🙂 Forgive my use of religious idioms, but it seems to do a good job of categorizing some attitudes.

  3. Likewise, I do appreciate the purity of MediaWiki and other ‘Orthodox’ wikis like it. And Sid is right when he says that:if MediaWiki is your only E2 tool then you won’t get very far but then it wouldn’t be MediaWiki inhibiting social business it would be your implementation that is limiting social business.But a wiki is often at the heart of workforce collaboration, so it is important to get that aspect right. What makes wikis successful inside organisations isn’t just because of their egalitarian read/write Web capabilities, but a number of sociotechnical factors working together. I just don’t think MediaWiki gives you enough choices to fit those requirements as they emerge through use, unless all you will ever need is a knowledgebase or a whiteboard.

  4. Actually, OmCollab – a self-described Enterprise 2.0 collaboration product completely built on open source software – auguments MediaWiki with WordPress, Scuttle, phpBB. They have a roadmap to extend it further.

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