Wiki First Time Readers' Page
What's a Wiki?
A wiki (from the Hawaiian word for 'quickly') is a web page set up for interactive use. That means that you can edit and add content to it, and even create new pages, without needing to know any technical details of how web pages work.
While this may seem daunting at first, it gives the wiki pages great power as a tool for communicating information and knowledge. Think 'Wikipedia' and you will understand the immense power that comes from making the web pages open to all contributors. There has never been an information tool as powerful as a wiki in the whole history of the human race!
This does come with some caveats. There are people around who will attempt to subvert such a constructive tool, simply because it is constructive. This means we have to go to some effort and inconvenience to manage such attempts. The most obvious one is that we want you to identify yourself, and for this, we use a username/password combination, also known as an account. Such accounts are easy to setup, and once you have one setup, we can authorize you to interact with the wiki pages.
First Time Visitors, Read This!
If you are a Church Councillor, you need to be aware that the pages for this group are restricted to those recorded on the Council Group pages (for confidentiality reasons), and you will need a user account and password before you can be added to these pages. Email <ajh AT SPAMFREE internode DOT on DOT net> for help with this. Other groups may have similar confidential information which is restricted to members of their group. On the other hand, we do try to make as many pages as possible accessible to all, so if you hit a page which is restricted against you (you will know when this happens!), please contact the WikiMasters for assistance.
Other church users can browse most of the pages without using an account, but you will generally need an account if you want to write to the pages in any way. Again, WikiMasters can help with this.
From time to time, it is planned to run workshops on the use of the wiki. Please contact the WikiMasters if you want to attend one of these. You can see the list of people who have attended a previous workshop at the TrainedPeopleGroup page.
Why a Wiki?
To see why I'm keen to see the wider use of a wiki in our church, you only have to look at all the things happening in our church. Have you ever wondered what a new minister is up against in coming to a place like Glen Waverley Uniting Church? There is so much information to learn, so many people to meet, and so many names to remember! And that is without thinking about all the things that have happened in the past, who has done what, who is related to whom, what church policies are in place, what are all the church groups around the place doing, and so on, and so on. Wikis are very useful to build that corporate knowledge - all that stuff about the running of the church that is locked up in peoples' heads, and in the past has seldom been committed to paper (or if they were, the papers are now lost ). It is in the best interest for our [church] management to support the Wiki as a knowledge management system, because the Wiki is being maintained by corporate knowledge workers, those who acquire and disseminate living knowledge.1
One thing that I think constrains people NOT to undertake leadership roles in our church is their fear of what they don't know. As a previous Church Council Chair, I have been gobsmacked by the number of things happening in our church of which I was previously quite unaware. We are a big place - it is difficult for any one person to grasp all the nuances of things happening around the congregation. So what do we do? We "leave it to the experts", which is why the same 'usual suspects' bob up in the leadership roles around the church. I have far more faith in human nature than that - I think we can all take on leadership roles, and it is just the fear of the unknown that prevents us. Using a wiki can get a handle on the "corporate knowledge" that lies behind a (relatively) large church organization like ours, and preserve this information for those that follow us. JohnHurst
1 paraphrased from a paper published by Wollongong University