Does anyone here use a wiki or blog for communicating with co-workers? I'm trying to work on a better way for reference librarians to communicate with each other about new assignments, printer meltdowns, new helpful resources, etc. I even have dreams of getting our reference manual online. It would be easy enough to set up a blog with logins for everyone, but I like the flexibility of a wiki. Anyone know of good open source wiki software that offers page access control? Wikipedia has a comparison table of wiki software, but I'd be really happy to get recommendations. Thanks!

Tags: blogs, communication, tools, wikis

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We have a blog (http://blog.case.edu/orgs/ksl/reference/) that is open to the world. We write the items, so anyone can benefit from them. But often, they benefit the staff the most. We use Movable Type so we can send an email notification to the staff if they MUST read it. Not everyone is addicted to RSS feeds.

We are getting ready to start an internal wiki to be used as a reference knowledge bank. It could include anything that each of use need to know but cannot be shared openly on our website.
We also use a blog for sharing info about problematic class assignments, technical glitches, new databases, useful websites, etc., but ours is running on WordPress and is only accessible on our library intranet. Everyone has full authorship and publishing rights so there aren't any workflow barriers. And as Brian mentioned, we also rely on emails for more urgent issues since people tend to read the blog mainly during their reference shifts.

We also originally discussed whether to use a wiki for this and decided that the blog software would meet more of our needs. With WordPress, though, we're also able to create static pages and that's where we've moved much of our reference manual as well.
Thanks. I like the idea of having static pages available, too.
Was PBWiki relatively easy to set up?
We are using pbwiki for some working documents -- super easy. Just go to http://www.pbwiki.com and you can get started in a snap.

Only bad thing is once in a while the servers will go down -- but they seem really good at getting service back up and running. Of course I speak from experience using the free version -- not the pay version.
PBWiki is very simple. I teach a Web 2.0 Workshop for the Kent State University Library & Information Science School. We use MediaWiki so people can so a very powerful, customizable version. But I also teach PBWiki, and that is what most people decide to use for their final projects.
We have a public blog for "library news" items, and an internal blog aimed at supporting the reference desk. The internal blog is used, but I get a bit frustrated when people post something to it, then email everyone telling them they've posted something to it.... *sigh*
No, but we use google groups for smaller projects.
We use an interneal blog for communication amongst reference staff, but we also have a wiki for tough reference questions. We use PBWiki which is quick to start and easy to use and they also offer privacy options. I think using a wiki for a reference manual is a great idea. You can check out our wiki here:

http://butlerreference.pbwiki.com/

By the way, PBWiki just added a nice WYSIWYG editor with the option to insert great plugins into wikis with the click of a button - like calendars and Google gadgets.

Good luck! - Ellyssa
In the Archival Institution where I work (archives départementales de Seine-Maritime, Normandy, France) each reference archivist has developped her/his own private tool (typically a personnal ledger) and relies mainly on his own and his co-workers experience in particular fields (Social, Justice, etc.). We begin to use the Archives Intranet to exchange information on reference but in my opinion it's not really such an easy and friendly tool, and I try to convince my fellow-librarians to create a collective blog. The archives municipales de Rennes (Britanny, France) are also working on this idea. I am thrilled by the examples given in this discussion and will certainly use them to push the idea ahead.
Yes, we have an internal wiki for our division. We use the software that most everyone else uses (including Wikipedia): MediaWiki . (Sorry - I don't yet know how to make live links.)

Before going the wiki route, however, you'll have to do a lot of consensus building. Unless you have the rare staff where everyone is waiting to jump on board, expect a lot of resistance. I'm not the only who suggests that you have to have a wiki promotional committee on your staff to keep on encouraging staff to use it. Even then, the bigger change is the entire nature of collaborative software -- NEVER assume that everyone is up to speed on this, or that they even want to be. Don't underestimate what a tremendous cultural change this is for staff. It takes a lot of work for it to be used.
True, Bob-- but most of the hard work is getting people used to the idea. Once a staff gets used to any new development, like a wiki or blog, they work with it more and more. There's only the intial problem of getting them all to use it to begin with.

And even after everyone's used to it, not everyone will use it at the same rate-- and the nature of a wiki allows them to do that. So just be aware-- a wiki's a good way to connect co-workers, but it can't be the only way.

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