April 15-18, 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Sessions: Abstract

Collaborative History - Creating (and Fostering) a Wiki Community   go to paper

Tracey Baker, Minnesota Historical Society, USA
Joe Hoover, Minnesota Historical Society, USA
Rose Sherman, Minnesota Historical Society, USA

The Minnesota Historical Society launched the wiki in 2007 with simple goals: to gather the history of places, to share memories from those who experienced those places, and to foster an interest in historic preservation. Project members and trusted advisors agreed that a wiki would provide an ideal delivery mechanism. However, the MHS’ experience with a prior, major wiki project indicated that a new approach would be necessary to ensure the success of the project.

We describe and contrast the two wiki projects, assess the key lessons from the initial project, and describe how those findings shaped their approach to the development of Placeography. Foremost among the findings is that creating, fostering, and sustaining a community is essential to the success of a wiki. Key performance measurements - barometers of the success of the project - indicate that deliberate attention to building the community of content contributors through promotion, partnerships, and outreach, directly impacted the success of the project.

Session: Wikis and the Expanded Museum Community [Social Media]

Keywords: social interaction, community, collaboration, archives, Web 2.0, wiki