Wikis in Action – Day 2 Interactive Session

July 16, 2008

So, in today’s interactive session, we wanted to give our conference attendees an opportunity to actually see the power of wikis and the “wisdom of crowds” here at the Conference.  Sure, we could have walked through the history of a Wikipedia page, or talked about how Intellipedia has changed the way the Intelligence Community creates and shares information, but it’s a lot easier to to take these thoughts and ideas back to your organization if you’ve actually experienced it.

With this afternoon’s session, I’m hoping to illustrate the power that wikis can have when used within an organization.  I’ve done this interactive session a couple of times before, and it’s gotten really good feedback so far, so I’m hoping for a similar result here today.

The Hypothesis

A roomful of people can provide the same answers as the “experts” in less time, often with more complete information and leads to additional information.

The Setup

Two recognized “experts” are given a list of questions that they’re given 10 minutes to answer in isolation.  During this same ten minutes, the audience is given the same list of questions and are asked to answer the questions in real-time.  Today’s experts will be David Neff from the American Cancer Society and Jack Holt from the Department of Defense.  What follows are the questions and the “crowd’s” answers to those questions.

The Questions

Who won last night’s All-Star game?

  • American League
  • The game was the longest in history – 15 Innings
  • Score: 4 – 3
  • Last All-Star game in Yankee Stadium

Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in front of what DC landmark?

  • The Lincoln Memorial in 1963
  • Part of the speech was ad lib

I just found out that my friend has lung cancer, and I want to learn more – how can I find out more information?

  • American Cancer Society
  • Cancer.org
  • NIH Cancer Division
  • Cancer Center of America
  • Sharinghope.tv
  • Use custom homepages with RSS feeds from resources
  • Sloan-kettering
  • Virtua Cancer Center
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Lance Armstrong’s Book
  • WebMD

I want to place RSS feeds onto my website, but don’t know where to start – what are the questions that I need to ask to get started?

  • What type of content should have RSS feeds
  • Target Audience
  • Where should the RSS feeds be located on the website
  • Who are the experts in the organization
  • Who is going to code the RSS feeds
  • How would you promote and integrate RSS feeds into your communication strategy
  • Where are some of the sources
  • Organizational policies regarding RSS
  • How to track RSS feeds
  • Audience’s knowledge of RSS

What types of wiki software are available?

  • MediaWiki
  • Social Text
  • Confluence
  • PB Wiki
  • Wikipedia Wiki page has all current wikis listed
  • SharePoint

I want to learn more about social media – what are the some of the best learning resources?

  • Presenters
  • Digg
  • Attendees
  • Social Media Today
  • Social Media for Government Blog
  • Wikipedia
  • Technorati
  • Wikinomics
  • TubeMogul.com
  • Wiki Patterns
  • CNet

We’ve all worked with public affairs officers and they seem to have a wide range of capabilities and knowledge. What types of training should a public affairs officer be required to take?

  • Writing for the web
  • Strategic public relations
  • Attend conferences
  • Crisis management
  • Media training
  • Media relations

Who’s going to win the Red River Shootout this year (Texas-Oklahoma)?

  • OU!!!

After reviewing the answers from the “experts,” we found that the hypothesis proved true (for the most part!).  The experts often provided a “right” answer, but the “crowd” was usually able to not only match the experts’ right answer, but provide a more complete answer, and often more information that led to answers to follow-on questions too.  While this exercise didn’t prove anything, it did illustrate the potential social media can have within the organization when you open up and put your information on a platform like a wiki, rather than keeping it contained within a channel like email.


One comment

  1. Hey,
    Can you add my Blog to your Blog roll. Tagging my photos as we speak.


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