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Using Wikis to Collaborate with Clients

by Tammy Lenski
February 2007

From the Mediator Tech blog of Tammy Lenski.

Tammy Lenski
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.

From the Mediator Tech blog of Tammy Lenski.

Biography


Dr. Tammy Lenski helps people resolve conflict in ongoing business and personal relationships and bring their "A" game to difficult conversations. Since founding her NH-based conflict resolution firm Myriaccord LLC in 1997, Tammy has worked with individuals and organizations worldwide as a master mediator, executive coach, speaker, and educator. Author of the award-winning book, Making Mediation Your Day Job, she recently received the Association for Conflict Resolution’s prestigious Mary Parker Follett award for innovative and pioneering work in her field. Her second book, The Conflict Pivot, was released in 2014.

 



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