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Today I’d like to talk about how you can use a Wiki for your technical document project.
A wiki (which means “quick” in Hawaiian) is a collaborative writing software with which you can set up a “wiki site” as well.
With wiki’s powerful database, editing and messaging functionalities you can accomplish much for your technical communication project:
You can, for example, post the drafts of your document on a wiki for review and then invite your reviewers to post their comments and feedback directly onto the wiki. This reduces e-mail and phone traffic considerably. It makes sure that both the writer and the reviewers are literally on the same page.
You can configure different authorization and access levels so that not everyone can see everything, or contribute to every page. For example, you can create a special user class of “Reviewers” that can access the review pages and leave comments.
You can always go back to a previous version and compare the development of your document since most wikis keep a backup copy of each version of your pages. That kind of archival history may prove to be precious when tracking down a certain past version of a specific draft which may or may not exist on the technical writer’s client machine.
You do not need to have full, complete essays and articles to post on a wiki. You can jot down quick ideas and suggestions and invite others to elaborate and build up on it. That way, a wiki can function as a collective brainstorming tool as well.
With best wishes for your great future!
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