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Using Wikis to Collaborate with Clients

Do you ever need to collaborate with your ADR clients on a document before it’s considered final? I sure do and the trading of documents back and forth by email got old. Fortunately, wikis have come to the rescue.

Wiki means “quick” in Hawaiian and if you’ve ever used Wikipedia, an online user-created encyclopedia, you’ve visited a wiki.

Wikis are just web pages you can create without having to know anything about coding or creating websites. . .if you can type, you can create a wiki page. Wikis are great for collaboratively creating documents because all contributors always have the most recent version of the document available to them…no more trading word-processed documents back and forth by email, with some poor soul havng to integrate the edits and comments various others have added. The wiki makes this happen for you, and saves all prior versions to boot. A wiki looks and feels like a normal Intranet or Internet web page but you can edit it just by typing.

To find out more about wikis, try these links:

Stewart Mader is the man behind the Using Wiki in Education blog and the world’s first book in wiki form. His first chapter is free and though written with educators in mind, several paragraphs down he provides some good background info on wikis: Four Letter Words: how wiki and edit are making the Internet a better learning tool.

I like and use SocialText for collaborating on documents with clients. From my main SocialText page I can create a section for each client, invite those clients only into that section, and even brand the pages with my logo. It’s free for up to five users and you can purchase more advanced options.

PBwiki also gets good reviews for simplicity. PB is for Peanut Butter and it’s free.

Google Docs isn’t precisely a wiki but operates from the same general principle. Google Docs allows you to create both basic documents and spreadsheets, has an interface that will feel familiar, and allows you to upload existing files from popular formats like .doc, .xls, and .rtf. It, too, is free.


Tammy Lenski

Dr. Tammy Lenski helps individuals, pairs, teams, and audiences navigate disagreement better, address friction, and build alignment. Her current work centers on creating the conditions for robust collaboration and sound decisions while fostering resilient personal and professional relationships. Her conflict resolution podcast and blog, Disagree Better, are available at… MORE >

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