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Collaboration Tools Gabrielle Hammond, NTAP ABA Equal Justice Conference March 2007.

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Nuts and Bolts of Mediawiki NTAP Training March 2, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Collaboration Tools Gabrielle Hammond, NTAP ABA Equal Justice Conference March 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Collaboration Tools Gabrielle Hammond, NTAP ABA Equal Justice Conference March 2007

2 Presenters Gabrielle Hammond, Director LSNTAP Gabrielle Hammond, Director LSNTAP Steve Gray, NTAP Steve Gray, NTAP Alison Schlater, Pro Bono Net Alison Schlater, Pro Bono Net

3 Where is this PPT? LSNTAP.Org (www.lsntap.org/techlibrary) LSNTAP.Org (www.lsntap.org/techlibrary)

4 What is a wiki? In a single sentence, a wiki is a web site that is created and edited collaboratively. In a single sentence, a wiki is a web site that is created and edited collaboratively.

5 What is a wiki? Users can change, delete, update, and build on the thoughts and ideas of others. Users can change, delete, update, and build on the thoughts and ideas of others. Although it is web-based no coding or technical knowledge is required. Although it is web-based no coding or technical knowledge is required. Starting to use a wiki requires a sense of exploration. Starting to use a wiki requires a sense of exploration. Analogy: a word-processor used collaboratively, acts as a dynamic repository, retains revisions and allows discussion. Analogy: a word-processor used collaboratively, acts as a dynamic repository, retains revisions and allows discussion.

6 Wiki benefits For people new to the idea, the concept of anyone being able to update and change the text of a site seems chaotic. For people new to the idea, the concept of anyone being able to update and change the text of a site seems chaotic. Complex projects (see Wikipedia - an encyclopedia done with a wiki) have proven the value of this tool. Complex projects (see Wikipedia - an encyclopedia done with a wiki) have proven the value of this tool.Wikipedia

7 Some more wiki facts The way a wiki is set up and the informal rules governing the community of users of that wiki determine its character. The way a wiki is set up and the informal rules governing the community of users of that wiki determine its character. In its ideal form, a wiki can be termed as a tool for discourse and self-correction. On one end of the spectrum, you can have totally open, democratic wiki such as Wikipedia and on the other end, you can have a personal, secure notetaking tool accessible only to yourself. In its ideal form, a wiki can be termed as a tool for discourse and self-correction. On one end of the spectrum, you can have totally open, democratic wiki such as Wikipedia and on the other end, you can have a personal, secure notetaking tool accessible only to yourself. However, a big attraction of a wiki is its ability to retain a memory of the changes made to it. However, a big attraction of a wiki is its ability to retain a memory of the changes made to it.

8 What is the difference between a wiki and a blog? Blogs are most often individual/private effort...that allow feedback from readers. Blogs are most often individual/private effort...that allow feedback from readers. Wikis generally begin as collaborations promoting multiple authors. Wikis generally begin as collaborations promoting multiple authors.

9 Wikis in the Poverty Law Setting Why a wiki? Why a wiki? Wikis in action Wikis in action Challenges to getting people to contribute Challenges to getting people to contribute Praise for the wikis Praise for the wikis Wikis and Statewide websites Wikis and Statewide websites Steps for setting up a wiki Steps for setting up a wiki Resources Resources

10 Arkansas Legal Services: The problem: The pro bono organizations mailed to every pro bono attorney a huge binder of a printed version of the poverty law manual ( a manual w/ 10 sections pretty much following the major categories we deal with nationally such as Landlord/Tenant and Family law....) The pro bono organizations mailed to every pro bono attorney a huge binder of a printed version of the poverty law manual ( a manual w/ 10 sections pretty much following the major categories we deal with nationally such as Landlord/Tenant and Family law....) Cost for mailing and printing was enormous, plus it got out of date pretty quickly since it was focused on the advocate providing a lot of case law. Cost for mailing and printing was enormous, plus it got out of date pretty quickly since it was focused on the advocate providing a lot of case law.

11 Interim Solution: The manual was then converted to PDF and put on the website. But PDF is bulky and takes a while to load... The manual was then converted to PDF and put on the website. But PDF is bulky and takes a while to load... Additionally, the website coordinator could not continue to keep it updated – just too much in addition to my other jobs.. Additionally, the website coordinator could not continue to keep it updated – just too much in addition to my other jobs..

12 The solution A wiki that will be limited to the pro bono and legal services community with the hopes that the community will edit and update. A wiki that will be limited to the pro bono and legal services community with the hopes that the community will edit and update. https://povertylawmanual.wikispaces.com/

13 Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The problem Telephone Intake manual and Staff manual required constant changes to a printed manual. Staff manual---everyone throughout the program had different versions, depending on which updates they had actually kept. Telephone Intake manual and Staff manual required constant changes to a printed manual. Staff manual---everyone throughout the program had different versions, depending on which updates they had actually kept.

14 Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The solution: I checked out the NTAP info on wikis, and was drawn by the claim that creating a wiki could be as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich. I figured Id see if that was true, and it was.I checked out the NTAP info on wikis, and was drawn by the claim that creating a wiki could be as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich. I figured Id see if that was true, and it was.

15 Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The result: A wiki with: Organizational information Organizational information Help Line Manual Help Line Manual Staff Directory Staff Directory Substantive Law resources Substantive Law resources Other Resources Other Resources

16 Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The problem: A printed manual that needed updating and additional information, cost of printing and mailing. A printed manual that needed updating and additional information, cost of printing and mailing. Do you see a theme….?

17 Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The solution: An extensive wiki of reentry law resources http://reentry.mplp.org/ree ntry/index.php/Main_Page http://reentry.mplp.org/ree ntry/index.php/Main_Page http://reentry.mplp.org/ree ntry/index.php/Main_Page

18 Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The result: Extensive content, links to other websites, documents uploaded. Extensive content, links to other websites, documents uploaded. 20 editors, an editor training…3 contributors. 20 editors, an editor training…3 contributors.

19 The wiki challenge: Collaboration Biggest barrier is getting multiple people to contribute and edit? Biggest barrier is getting multiple people to contribute and edit? Why? Why? Unstructured? Unstructured? Uncomfortable with formatting Uncomfortable with formatting Fear of breaking something Fear of breaking something Not the normal way of doing things Not the normal way of doing things

20 The wiki challenge: Collaboration How to overcome that? How to overcome that? Plan and startup a basic outline, people often balk at a blank page. Plan and startup a basic outline, people often balk at a blank page. Basic formatting training – include hands-on exercises and include a cheat sheet Basic formatting training – include hands-on exercises and include a cheat sheet Let people know it cant be broken Let people know it cant be broken Ask specific people to contribute specific content – be available to answer questions. Ask specific people to contribute specific content – be available to answer questions. Start with something easy Start with something easy Recipe wiki (every adds their favorite recipe) Recipe wiki (every adds their favorite recipe)

21 Addressing the challenge Encourage use of the wiki - Encourage use of the wiki - Standard email reply: That would be a great thing to post to the wiki…. Standard email reply: That would be a great thing to post to the wiki…. Promote use of the wiki as a resource Promote use of the wiki as a resource Acknowledging wiki usage Acknowledging wiki usage Identify a few key content editors Identify a few key content editors Wait for the paradigm shift Wait for the paradigm shift

22 A successful example: FEMA Answers The problem: In the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita attorneys around the country needed a place to gather and share information related to FEMA assistance. In the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita attorneys around the country needed a place to gather and share information related to FEMA assistance. A wiki was set-up and attorneys across the country began contributing content. A wiki was set-up and attorneys across the country began contributing content. http://www.femaanswers.org/index.php/Main_Page

23 A successful example: FEMA Answers

24 Wiki praises The online aspect of manuals in an easily updatable format is worth it (even without multiple contributors). The online aspect of manuals in an easily updatable format is worth it (even without multiple contributors). Wiki admin praise the fact that it is easy to use without technical know-how. Wiki admin praise the fact that it is easy to use without technical know-how. With email volume constantly increasing a wiki provides an alternative to cluttered inboxes. With email volume constantly increasing a wiki provides an alternative to cluttered inboxes.

25 Wikis and Statewide Websites Consider wiki use in conjunction (not duplication) of a statewide website. Consider wiki use in conjunction (not duplication) of a statewide website. Wikis may be appropriate for large (manual) content not easily placed on a statewide website Wikis may be appropriate for large (manual) content not easily placed on a statewide website Wikis may be used to develop content for a statewide website Wikis may be used to develop content for a statewide website May be used for taskforces or working groups May be used for taskforces or working groups

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27 Setting up a wiki: Decisions: Decisions: Software and Hardware (For more information see: www.lsntap.org/node/1061) Software and Hardware (For more information see: www.lsntap.org/node/1061) www.lsntap.org/node/1061 Content: Creating a general outline of how you want the navigation to work makes it easier to add information, and to organize it in a user-friendly way. Content: Creating a general outline of how you want the navigation to work makes it easier to add information, and to organize it in a user-friendly way. Access – Open, Password protected, Editorial privileges password protected. Access – Open, Password protected, Editorial privileges password protected. Editorial Policies Editorial Policies

28 Wiki in action…. 1. Open a new browser window on your desktop 2. Go to: http://becky.wiki.lstech.org/index.php/Wiki_Training http://becky.wiki.lstech.org/index.php/Wiki_Training 3. Click on the edit tab 4. Add content! 5. Remember to Save Page

29 Resources Mediawiki Editing Cheatsheet (PDF) Mediawiki Editing Cheatsheet (PDF) Mediawiki Editing Cheatsheet Mediawiki Editing Cheatsheet http://lsntap.org/sites/lsntap.org/files/NTAP%20Cheatsheet%20on%20Wikis.pdf Setting up & Using a Wiki Setting up & Using a Wiki Setting up & Using a Wiki Setting up & Using a Wiki http://lsntap.org/node/1062 Why Do We Care About Wikis & What Are They? Why Do We Care About Wikis & What Are They? Why Do We Care About Wikis & What Are They? Why Do We Care About Wikis & What Are They? http://lsntap.org/node/1020 All about Mediawiki All about Mediawiki All about Mediawiki All about Mediawiki http://lsntap.org/node/1018 Sample Wikis Used in Legal Services & Beyond Sample Wikis Used in Legal Services & Beyond Sample Wikis Used in Legal Services & Beyond Sample Wikis Used in Legal Services & Beyond http://lsntap.org/node/1021 Practice Sandbox for this Training Practice Sandbox for this Training Practice Sandbox for this Training Practice Sandbox for this Training http://becky.wiki.lstech.org/index.php/Wiki_Training LSNTAP Resource Center Section on Wikis LSNTAP Resource Center Section on Wikis LSNTAP Resource Center Section on Wikis LSNTAP Resource Center Section on Wikis


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