A wiki allows the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages. It is used to create collaborative websites, to power community websites, for personal note taking, and in knowledge management systems. Obsolete material needs to be removed.
Wiki gardening is the process of incrementally editing a wiki space to preserve continuity, make additional connections and links, and otherwise clean it up to be more consistent. Presented in an appealing way, organized knowledge will increase usability.
Removing old, obsolete and off-topic content is extremely important to keep a wiki from disintegrating into chaos and disrepair.
- Broken window - syndrome: If people see, that the wiki is not presentable it loses credibility.
- Keeping up a consistent appearance of the wiki content to prevent from being distracted to the content.
- Helping others to better contribute and focus on the content: increase the activity.
Sometimes you realize there are lots of pages around a specific topic, but there is no page specifically about the topic from which to link them up. Sometimes a navigation hierarchy established early on becomes much too wide and flat, requiring some redesign to maintain a degree of usability. A well arranged structure will make it easier and more inviting for users to add new content.
Make it possible to discover relevant information in many ways.
Categorize: Creating a page involves assigning it to a category. Categories are necessary to establish clarity and to support the maintenance process. Non-categorized articles need to be assigned to a category.
Add links: As you use the site, remember to associate pages with each other via links. If you mention a topic on one page addressed in another, be sure to link it. This is often not done when content is initially entered, making it an important gardening task. Without these links, content is easily lost or forgotten and ultimately duplicated.
Deleting, Pruning, Rewriting or Refactoring
We can prune away information that is no longer relevant. Also reduce orphaned pages. For some pages, the information they contain could be better exposed by moving that information into existing pages. Some pages just need some cosmetic editing (typos, misspellings, poorly structured sentences and paragraphs) to improve readability.
It's good for page names to be short and reusable. Ask yourself: How would other people logically link to this idea? Name a page accordingly. Imagine its title used in a sentence. Rename pages according to that principle. When you rename a page, a redirect is left in its old place. You might want to follow the back links from that old page, change their links to reflect the new name, and then delete the old page.
There are disadvantages to renaming and deleting. For instance, the creator of the original page may be confused, disheartened, or insulted when they can't find that original page. Also, links from external sites may break.
Put these tasks as recurring items in your calendar. Just like a garden, the category you are assigned for will either wither and die or get away from you entirely if you don’t put in the time to do the maintenance work.
Tools are available to support the gardening process:
- The maintenance area provides an overview of “old” articles arranged by category. It is recommended to look through the maintenance schedule regularly.
- It is also possible to customize the schedule (e.g. number of displayed articles).
- Another powerful tool is the so called Special Page. Special Pages provide information on uncategorized categories, short pages, etc.
- Rearrange pages
- Split a long page to smaller pages
- Delete a page
- Ensure that information is up-to-date
- Ensure that information is relevant
- Add or fix links to make sure relevant content is navigable within the wiki
If you need any kind of help with the the wiki gardening you can always contact out official *****.