Documentation Wiki


I’ve mentioned before my love of wikis as a documentation platform, and I helped start the Milwaukee Makerspace wiki and grow and maintain it over the years…

Since I started working at the BBCM Exhibits Shop last year one of the biggest challenges has been locating needed documentation. Sometimes it existed, but was difficult to find. Other times knowledge existed only in someone’s head, which isn’t the best thing for an organization.

Even though I launched the wiki late last summer, things didn’t really start to get populated until December when I got a chance to pours lots of data into it, and then Sam joined us as the Exhibit Floor Coordinator and jumped completely on-board the wiki train. We’ve added over 150 pages in the last four months, and some of them are pretty extensive.

(We’re doing a small bit of integration with our ticketing system as well. Not as much as I’d like, but there’s a few weird issues with MantisBT that make things a little difficult.)

There are still more extensive pieces of documentation that exist in other formats, things that make sense as static documents, and those are often linked from the wiki so they are easy to locate as well.

In the building of this knowledge base, I like to think of it as an easily searchable manual that multiple people can update at any time. It’s not a bunch of Word documents or PDFs on a file server, it’s a living resource, meant to be used (and updated) constantly. It should serve as a useful tool not just to the people who have access to it now, but the people who join the organization in the future. A new team member should be able to sit down on the first day and dig through the wiki to get a good overview of what we deal with. (That’s my hope anyway!)