Wiki Gardening in the Enterprise

Web heads refer to the term wiki gardening. This is basically controlling the content in your wiki. Wiki gardening is easily manageable for wikis that are internal to an enterprise, but is more challenging for wikis that contain company content that is shared with partners and customers.
Sun has a large and vibrant website for partners, called Sun Partner Advantage Membership Center or Partner Portal. Partners can utilize the Partner Portal for everything from pricing information, to training, to product and program information. “The Portal” , in general, utilizes the walled garden approach. The Sun PartnerĀ  team both accepts and solicits content, massages it appropriately, formats, and publishes it. The advantages are obvious. The content is consistent, reasonably up to date, and only the appropriate content is shared.

But wait! There are occasions where more and better resources are available to employees, than partners. This is because publishing content to an internal wiki (yes, I’m referring to OneStop. This is the OneStop Secret Sauce blog after all.) is easier. It’s much faster as there is no process or approval involved, and there are no worries about confidentiality or appropriateness of content. There are no forms or mechanism, it’s basically WYSIWYG and update in place. It enables Self publishing so that the content expert is able to make the changes directly. Nothing is lost in translation, as compared to content making it’s way through the process.

With our PartnerSpace project we hope to offer the best of both worlds. The goal of PartnerSpace is to make appropriate partner ready content that is behind the Sun firewall easily available to partners. The core of PartnerSpace is an easily consumable (by content providers) set of publishing guidelines. These guidelines include:

  1. Publishing Rules, including privacy and confidentiality guidelines.
  2. Content traits, as we need to happily coexist with PartnerWeb.
  3. Style suggestions, for consistency.

Perhaps the most important part of PartnerSpace is the definition of roles. Each wiki page, or family of wiki pages, that are made available to partners has a moderator. Content creators and owners stage a page in a Sun only area, and only when it is scanned and approved by the moderator does it become available to partners.

OneStop for Partners is the first instance of the Partner Space project. We are already seeing interesting phenomenon that we didn’t expect. It turns out that some of the low hanging fruit is content that doesn’tĀ  fit easily into the existing Partner Portal or Sun organizational model. Two examples thus far are the Partner HPC Resource Center and the Solutions area. We are moving aggressively to complete OneStop for Partners with the traditional core of product, technology, and program information.