Another SMW vs SharePoint Thread

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Another SMW vs SharePoint Thread

lbillett
Short Version: Looking for points or experiences on the state of the SMW sphere as a valid solution that could be adopted by a large organization (ie. more stuff like the WikiWorks article on the subject [1]). There's a few discussion threads out there, but pretty much fishing for more. Companies already using it would help.

WIND-BAG Version: I'm the administrator of a handful of semantic wikis in a (very) big food processing company. The project is technically underground and has been since getting going in 2008 (though most folks in lower/middle levels of the company have heard of it). There's no official support or budget for it, and it has operated at the manufacturing site level since inception (the vision being, each physical plant is it's own community with unique attributes an ontologies. Further, the wiki's interface with the industrial computers allowing a great mashup of human+machine information. It's a one-stop-shop for almost everything you actually want to KNOW).

The wiki at my plant has become deeply entrenched in day-to-day operations. We're very slowly (often frustratingly so) learning to change how we think about information. There are some parallels between our experience and that of the NASA EVA Wiki story, perhaps just a slower adoption rate. I've actually had people get on board BECAUSE of the EVA presentation on the subject. (If NASA is doing it, it can't be all that bad right?).

The 3rd most active wiki has popped up on our corporate radar. An editor in that community got a new role and pitched 'the Wiki' as an ideal platform from which to deliver some HR/Training related information to their site. This has generated discussion as to the validity/sustainability (even existence) of the platform in a "we use SharePoint" upper management world (contrasting anecdotally to the "what is sharepoint?" world at the plant level).  Next week a conference call is scheduled to address the topic. It includes some executive management, a couple of whom report directly to officers (eeek!). Anyway, I'm trying to assemble some objective points in preparation for the call (I was asked to sit in on it since I'd probably be the main person that could speak to the topic of the wiki project with any understanding).

I'm curious and open to recommendations from the community about what to do, or approaches that are best taken in this kind of situation. Frankly, I've not much experience with SharePoint beyond being an end-user/viewer (have never gotten the keys to it anyway). My limited understanding is SharePoint is probably the closest thing to a semantic wiki, just nothing like it.

I've tried very hard to get others to run with the concept (after which they seem to go get better jobs with other companies :/ ). Over the years I've come to realize that I can't be the person that 'brings it to the organization' so to speak. I'm too close to it to be it's champion in that sense (probably more akin to a mad scientist with this insane idea that ALL of our plant's knowledge is related, and is methodically linking it all together). In that sense, this radar 'hit' at the OTHER site is a great thing.

Anyway, if you're still with me, I'm both tremendously excited and terrified about what could happen next week. I could talk about the implications of semantic wikis in manufacturing for days... It's replacing all kinds of problems we used to have with systematic approaches to just about everything. It's just not 'official'. I'm expecting the traditional "we can't support this", "it's not 'secure'" objections to the model (we've recently out-sourced all IT support) to which I feel prepared to give an adequate account (what is more ubiquitous than PHP? deploy the wiki at a level that can all see the same things (one wiki is using Ext:Lockdown, which... has seen them use it in ways I never would have considered)). So, what else might/should I expect? (bearing in mind SharePoint might be exactly what we need for this, but that the door is being rattled on the wiki project). One point that always comes up is that people are scared of the markup. That it'd be really nice to be able to contract the creation of form/template combos etc. (I haven't broached this idea quite yet, but if any of you do mediawiki consulting and are proximal to the mid-west US or central Ontario Canada, we might need your help if this gets official/bigger).

Thanks everybody. This project has brought a huge element of satisfaction to my career and I find helping solve the information challenges of my colleagues extremely rewarding. Not sure what I'd be doing if I hadn't fallen in here...

Pretty stoked for PF 4.1.

lpab

[1] http://wikiworks.com/semantic-mediawiki-vs-sharepoint.html
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Re: Another SMW vs SharePoint Thread

Greg Rundlett (freephile)
Hi Lucas,

I can't really chime in with a bunch of advice, since I've got to fly out
to Aruba in the morning and I'm not even packed yet. :-)

But as far as Enterprise support, that's what we're building with
QualityBox.us  Your point about needing professional help with forms and
templates is a good one.  We haven't named it yet, but the "Account Rep" is
like a reference librarian... someone who knows how to help you get the
information you need and make the most of the system.

I'll be following this thread with interest.

Greg

Greg Rundlett
https://eQuality-Tech.com
https://freephile.org

On Sat, Feb 11, 2017 at 8:01 AM, lbillett <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Short Version: Looking for points or experiences on the state of the SMW
> sphere as a valid solution that could be adopted by a large organization
> (ie. more stuff like the WikiWorks article on the subject [1]). There's a
> few discussion threads out there, but pretty much fishing for more.
> Companies already using it would help.
>
> WIND-BAG Version: I'm the administrator of a handful of semantic wikis in a
> (very) big food processing company. The project is technically underground
> and has been since getting going in 2008 (though most folks in lower/middle
> levels of the company have heard of it). There's no official support or
> budget for it, and it has operated at the manufacturing site level since
> inception (the vision being, each physical plant is it's own community with
> unique attributes an ontologies. Further, the wiki's interface with the
> industrial computers allowing a great mashup of human+machine information.
> It's a one-stop-shop for almost everything you actually want to KNOW).
>
> The wiki at my plant has become deeply entrenched in day-to-day operations.
> We're very slowly (often frustratingly so) learning to change how we think
> about information. There are some parallels between our experience and that
> of the NASA EVA Wiki story, perhaps just a slower adoption rate. I've
> actually had people get on board BECAUSE of the EVA presentation on the
> subject. (If NASA is doing it, it can't be all that bad right?).
>
> The 3rd most active wiki has popped up on our corporate radar. An editor in
> that community got a new role and pitched 'the Wiki' as an ideal platform
> from which to deliver some HR/Training related information to their site.
> This has generated discussion as to the validity/sustainability (even
> existence) of the platform in a "we use SharePoint" upper management world
> (contrasting anecdotally to the "what is sharepoint?" world at the plant
> level).  Next week a conference call is scheduled to address the topic. It
> includes some executive management, a couple of whom report directly to
> officers (eeek!). Anyway, I'm trying to assemble some objective points in
> preparation for the call (I was asked to sit in on it since I'd probably be
> the main person that could speak to the topic of the wiki project with any
> understanding).
>
> I'm curious and open to recommendations from the community about what to
> do,
> or approaches that are best taken in this kind of situation. Frankly, I've
> not much experience with SharePoint beyond being an end-user/viewer (have
> never gotten the keys to it anyway). My limited understanding is SharePoint
> is probably the closest thing to a semantic wiki, just nothing like it.
>
> I've tried very hard to get others to run with the concept (after which
> they
> seem to go get better jobs with other companies :/ ). Over the years I've
> come to realize that I can't be the person that 'brings it to the
> organization' so to speak. I'm too close to it to be it's champion in that
> sense (probably more akin to a mad scientist with this insane idea that ALL
> of our plant's knowledge is related, and is methodically linking it all
> together). In that sense, this radar 'hit' at the OTHER site is a great
> thing.
>
> Anyway, if you're still with me, I'm both tremendously excited and
> terrified
> about what could happen next week. I could talk about the implications of
> semantic wikis in manufacturing for days... It's replacing all kinds of
> problems we used to have with systematic approaches to just about
> everything. It's just not 'official'. I'm expecting the traditional "we
> can't support this", "it's not 'secure'" objections to the model (we've
> recently out-sourced all IT support) to which I feel prepared to give an
> adequate account (what is more ubiquitous than PHP? deploy the wiki at a
> level that can all see the same things (one wiki is using Ext:Lockdown,
> which... has seen them use it in ways I never would have considered)). So,
> what else might/should I expect? (bearing in mind SharePoint might be
> exactly what we need for this, but that the door is being rattled on the
> wiki project). One point that always comes up is that people are scared of
> the markup. That it'd be really nice to be able to contract the creation of
> form/template combos etc. (I haven't broached this idea quite yet, but if
> any of you do mediawiki consulting and are proximal to the mid-west US or
> central Ontario Canada, we might need your help if this gets
> official/bigger).
>
> Thanks everybody. This project has brought a huge element of satisfaction
> to
> my career and I find helping solve the information challenges of my
> colleagues extremely rewarding. Not sure what I'd be doing if I hadn't
> fallen in here...
>
> Pretty stoked for PF 4.1.
>
> lpab
>
> [1] http://wikiworks.com/semantic-mediawiki-vs-sharepoint.html
>
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://wikimedia.7.x6.nabble.
> com/Another-SMW-vs-SharePoint-Thread-tp5071922.html
> Sent from the Semantic Mediawiki - User mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
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Re: Another SMW vs SharePoint Thread

lbillett
Greg Rundlett (freephile) wrote
But as far as Enterprise support, that's what we're building with
QualityBox.us  Your point about needing professional help with forms and
templates is a good one.  We haven't named it yet, but the "Account Rep" is
like a reference librarian... someone who knows how to help you get the
information you need and make the most of the system.
Thanks for reaching out Greg, I appreciate it. Great to know you guys are out there. The call was just a couple of days ago and went alright! There wasn't much time allotted for getting in real deep, but it jiggled the door knob on the whole subject with some folks willing to hear about it (and the ship didn't sink right in front of me, so that was nice).

I really need to work out some kind of value case for using this stuff in the workplace. That's probably been where I've sold the effort short the most. The biggest advantage I see in the whole semantic wiki scene is how it allows folks with no programming experience to jump right in and get doing things we historically needed a developer or dedicated resource to handle. That it fosters it's own little community of editors that can help each other create valuable tools (and value itself).

The discussion curiously didn't broach the sharepoint piece.
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Re: Another SMW vs SharePoint Thread

cindy.cicalese
This is the type of discussion we plan to have next week at EMWCon (https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/EMWCon_Spring_2017). If you cannot join us in person, there will be a live stream of the conference and presenters will be taking remote questions over IRC. Of course, we'd love to have you join in person.

Cindy
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Re: Another SMW vs SharePoint Thread

lbillett
cindy.cicalese wrote
This is the type of discussion we plan to have next week at EMWCon. If you cannot join us in person, there will be a live stream of the conference and presenters will be taking remote questions over IRC. Of course, we'd love to have you join in person.

Cindy
Thanks Cindy,

I've found the videos posted to youtube from previous conferences to be very helpful. I've always wanted to make it to one of the face-to-face conferences just to meet some of the community... I still hope I get to one day. Specifically as a result of more traction in my workplace with it.

The call from the other week has lead me to another topic, which I'll thread separately next.

Thanks,

lpab
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