The problem with wikis

Wikis seem to go stale really fast. I know this because I've used internal wikis at every company I've worked for or with in the last 8 years, and in each case the wiki was never an important part of anything. (Indeed, the wiki was often used by managers as a kind of threat - "add it to the wiki" is a way of saying, "please do some meaningless work that will never be read and will be quickly forgotten.")

But all writing on the net gets stale fast. Why does it feel so particularly bad with wikis?

I have a theory. I think it's because wikis set your expectations differently than, say, a blog. You don't expect a blog to stay relevant. Wikis feel static, and you expect them to stay relevant. It's a classic UI problem, actually. In truth, wikis and blogs are both just representations of an author's activities. One is merely presented in a different way. I believe that blogs are actually closer to representing the moment - one has a thought, one writes. Wiki's still subscribe to the conceit that this is an article, something that is correct and timeless and that fell out of the sky. Wikis hide the serial nature of authorship, while blogs do not.

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