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I am now blogging at www.guillaumelerouge.com

Wikis are everywhere. Now that global media institutions have started embracing the phenomenon, wikis have become more than a buzzword. Wikis are at the leading edge of what tomorrow's internet will look like.
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2006/12/07

The Paper - Plane Model

Communication in contemporary enterprises often looks like a darts game : I throw mine, and hope it will reach its target. The matter is, you hit the center only from times to times and all the remaining darts are quite unuseful. How does this relates to communication inside enterprises ? Just think about the way you are using e-mail. How many of those you receive are direclty relevant to you ?

The Paper-Plane Model

This model summarizes the point made before. It describes how, in companies, communication solutions (and specifically e-mail) are used to throw paper -planes containing data in many directions, hoping that something will come back from all these efforts. Paper is everywhere, information nowhere. Requests for contents are not organized in any coherent way as every individual tries to creates its own database with sent and received planes. The question is, why does this happen ?

Underlying Factors

All this has to do with the way people share texts and documents through e-mail. The ease of use of the application let everybody free to add copied recipients, to send uninformative messages, and so on. Every request generates a new message, even though the query may have been previously answered somewhere. Ever had this feeling of déjà-vu when you received a "new" question ? There is no central repository for the contents already created that could be browsed to retrieve information. But then, does a solution exist to solve this problem ?

A Solution Through Wikis

A wiki offers a good way of escaping the paper-plane model. It provides a centralized space where information can be added and modified easily by users. What's more, this space can be easily browsed through an integrated search engine. All your information is in the same place, always available and up to date. The number of planes is highly reduced, and the ones still in use carry more relevant information. Their content is progressively integrated into a database of all available knowledge in your company. Move on from the paper - plane model, go Wiki !

Want more ? Stay tuned.

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