Tuesday, April 04, 2006

33 Wikis: #12 -- The ICANN Wiki -- Behold, The Event Wiki

This is the tweflth installment in "33 Wikis," a close look at best practices in wiki-based collaboration. Each day -- for 33 days -- we look at one wiki and briefly describe what the wiki is for, why we like it, and what we all can learn from it. If you want to nominate a wiki, please let us know. On day 34 we will post a public wiki featuring info on all nominees.

What this wiki is for: The ICANN Wiki is a collaborative site for people who take part in conferences for ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Wikipedia says this about ICANN: "Headquartered in Marina Del Rey, ICANN is a California non-profit corporation that was created on September 18, 1998 in order to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks previously performed directly on behalf of the U.S. Government by other organizations, notably IANA." Not clear? In short, ICANN is one of the premier -- if not the premier -- organizations on Internet policy.

Why we like it: Creative, funny, and hyperactive, the ICANN wiki will emerge as a model collaborative site for any organization seeking to leverage the community that supports its events. But like many good event wikis, this wiki does not belong to the organization, ICANN, but to the ICANN community. Going well beyond what any organization can do alone, this wiki enables conference participants to share notes, plan get-togethers, meet people, and much more. And did we mention that the site is funny? We love how many of the participants are featured in photos and caricatures (click on the image to the left).

What we all can learn from it: Event wikis are gaining traction in the technology world, and we expect they will go mainstream very soon. There are so many benefits for participants. And organizers too are learning that a wiki is a great way to support participants, who often attend conferences for reasons only they know. Check out, for example, the official Web 2.0 2005 wiki, which helped attendees to organize several successful after-hour events.

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