Wiki Brainstorming and Problems with Wiki Based Collaboration
*As counted by MS Word 'word count' command. This includes all of the body of the report but none of the other appendices. Abstract As organisations increasingly rely on geographically dispersed workforces there is an emerging need to collaborate on projects that span distributed teams and different time frames. This includes a need for collaboration in the form of brainstorming. Wiki may provide a powerful medium for asynchronous distributed collaboration in such situations. A design for evaluating the use of wiki as a shared workspace for asynchronous distributed brainstorming is described. Implementation of this design was unsuccessful and it was considered that failure may be the result of fundamental problems with wiki as a collaborative technology. A revised design is presented for the evaluation of problems with wiki-based collaboration and the factors affecting such collaboration, based on hypotheses derived in part from traditional brainstorming research. A natural structure of factors affecting wiki-based collaboration emerged from the results which are discussed. Study conclusion presents 'The Wiki Cycle', a diagrammatic representation that highlights the process factors that affect the success or failure of wiki-based collaboration and which shows the interaction of these factors by way of a series of feedback cycles. This provides a framework for future work by making explicit some of the process factors and dynamics that affect wiki-bases collaboration. Acknowledgements I would like to thank my supervisor Chris Kimble for his encouragement and support throughout the project. for their involvement and expert insight. I would like to thank Antony Powell and Anthony Simpson at the University of York's Department of Management Studies for allowing me to study the Departmental Intranet Wiki and for their time in relating to me their thoughts and experience of wiki-based collaboration. Finally, I would also like to thank those that contributed to the MSc IP Brainstorm Wiki and those that took time to discuss with me their thoughts on the system.