Managing Wiki content

In the recent past we’ve setup a wiki in my organization, it is used by project managers and developers alike. As a result, we have had a surge of content placed onto the wiki without much organization or planning on what content should go where. Here’s some tips for managing wiki content if you’re using MediaWiki like us, or any wiki software for that matter. Please note that I just recently started to organize our content so if you have any tips please add to the list!

1. Use Categories

Categories provide an easy way to group wiki content. By adding a page to a category, it is added to an alphabetical list on the category page. You can even nest categories within categories for a hierarchical category listing.

2. Group landing page content

One thing that started to happen on our wiki was the landing page became the starting point for any wiki page. We all would place a link to the new page in a general area of where the content fit. Over time the landing page became a very large list of bullet points under a number of headings. Now that we started using categories, we’ve started to cut down on the number of content on the homepage and placing them in relevant category pages.

3. Namespaces

Although I haven’t played with namespaces yet, MediaWiki has a nifty way of “namespacing” your pages into higher level groups. MediaWiki comes with a list of builtin namespaces and you can add your own by making some modifications to the MediaWiki configuration.

4. Use SpecialPages

A great feature that they have in MediaWiki is “SpecialPages“. Special pages provide a great way to find dead content, unlinked pages, long pages and other ways to find content that needs to be refactored. Often, I use these pages as a starting point to target my refactorings. In much the same way that we use static code analysis tools to target refactorings, these pages are a great way to find a starting point.

I’m sure there’s several other great organizing techniques to keeping wiki’s up to date and would love to hear them from everyone and to share with the community. I had a hard time finding any good blog posts on wiki organization so hopefully this will aid someone in the future as a good starting point.

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