The article alerts technical communicators to wiki technology, an emerging new medium that allows dispersed groups to create shared content via collaborative editing and different-time communication. Wiki-based collaborative content creation enables new communication practices and thereby challenges several assumptions of existing media choice theories.
The fact that a Workplace could be considered 'quick' is not properly linked with the easiness to find information or with the speedy level of the communications: in this context it is linked to the Wiki feature of assuring a real-time updating access to contents and resources (data, information or knowledge and physical resources).
The true collaboration occurs when people have the possibility to co-work on the same sub-task, activating a mechanism of new knowledge creation. Collaboration is not so obvious if is not clearly supported: the risk is to exchange this 'together' learning process with a simple cooperation process, producing not new knowledge but only a simple addition of individual regress knowledge.
Strictly linked with transparency concept, openness is at the base of the principle that people work better if they have access to the right information and possibility to assume that all over the organization. The simple access to other group member data or the possibility to know activities scheduled also in other groups are normal operations in a mature context such as is allowed to look to other team solutions or results in order to decide something for the own team.
A common element between Wiki philosophy and innovation successful case histories, is the partial or total absence of structure or, saying better, of hierarchy. The possibility, in fact, to contribute in the same way, indifferently at which level you are involved in the organization, is one of the first steps towards the reduction of barriers to collaboration, participation and involvement in the organizational life.
The possibility of sharing improves an effective distribution of common resources (meeting room, projector, corporate car...). In a more general acceptation of the term, the availability to ideas or previous solutions useful for different use is an advantage that make co-creation of new knowledge and a healthy circulation of knowledge possible.