I am a huge, huge fan of Atlassian’s tools, and I’ve worked pretty hard to make them a part of culture at my office. They’ve just started a series of blog posts on using a wiki for technical writing, and I loved this bit:
Do you feel nervous at the thought of customers adding angry comments on your documentation wiki? Spammers running riot? Here’s the flipside for you to consider: customers answering other customers’ questions in the wiki, external developers adding code samples to help flesh out your document, partners volunteering to write new documentation.
I think that when it comes to implementing any new technology (especially from being inside IT), there’s a lot of fear and belief that someone, somewhere, is going to misuse/abuse it. But we often lose site of the advantages that will come from the tool and clever use by your community.
“But what if…?” is the common thing I hear when talking about new technology, and my tongue-in-cheek response is now going to be “What if there’s bears?”, in due deference to this old Will Hines video:
Stop planning for doomsday. Pre-empt the obvious abuses, and handle the subtleties as they come.