Andrew McAfee wrote recently about the Questions he has been asked about Enterprise 2.0. As I scanned the list there was one question I have been asked on multiple occasions when talking about the use of Wikis inside a company. The question usually goes something like this:
"What happens when somebody posts information that is wrong?"
This can quickly lead in to a discussion about the need for a formal editorial committee for any material posted to the wiki.
My response to head off this line of thinking is this:
- We are no worse off than we are today, indeed we may be much better off
- The concern behind this question usually comes from people experiencing incorrect, or unauthorized, information being distributed via email
- In the email paradigm erroneous information can persist for much longer depending upon who is included in the distribution list for the email.
- In the Wiki paradigm (usually) anyone can have visibility to information and so the error can be caught much more quickly
- Once the error is caught there is only one copy to correct, unlike email where the error can persist in people's email archive.
- What you tend to see is that people with specialist interests will monitor topics of interest to them and will catch errors earlier in the process, all without the need for heavy handed editorial control.