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Using an Enterprise Wiki Site as a Knowledge Center

For many larger organizations, a Knowledge Center is a must. In layman’s terms, it’s a space where your business can house, maintain, and use corporate knowledge, like policies, procedures, and other important information. A knowledge center can also be a central location for training videos and content, too. Luckily, there’s an out of the box feature SharePoint provides that can be used to manage and maintain your knowledge center—a SharePoint Enterprise Wiki site.

What is a Wiki?

A wiki (think Wikipedia) is a text-based web page that contains information. Much like Wikipedia, it relies on the so-called “wisdom of the crowds” to source accurate information, and allows any user to update information. For businesses, your wiki can function in a similar manner, although you can place safeguards in place for content security. But the idea is the same: a web page of data with hyperlinks to other related information.

A wiki page is one of the three kinds of web pages available in SharePoint. A SharePoint Enterprise Wiki page contains more metadata, including a Wiki Category and Rating column. This allows you to categorize, search, and sort your content. You can also add a comments section and more, depending on what you’re trying to do.

Using the Wiki

You can add a SharePoint Enterprise Wiki page to any pages library, or create a brand new Enterprise Wiki site, which will have features loaded into it like Enterprise wiki pages and categories set up. All of your Knowledge Center pages will be found in a singular library, although you can create additional libraries for pages that you wish to protect from editing or viewing.

One of the best tools in the wiki library is the shortcut to create new pages. So if you’re writing a page, and decide it would be a good idea to reference another item, all you have to do is add two brackets ([[ ]]) around a word. Then, when you save the page, SharePoint will render the page, and create a placeholder link. Click on that link and a new page will be created. If the page already exists, the brackets will link to that page.

Wikis and Searching

When using an Enterprise Wiki site, clicking on the categories listed to the right of the page will bring up a list of all pages tagged with that category automatically. You can create a flat taxonomy, or build out a hierarchy of terms, and that will help users find what they’re looking for. Along with categories, you can manage the way search results are displayed using the custom search results feature.

With an Enterprise Wiki site, the sky is the limit when it comes to managing your knowledge. The key, however, is making sure that information is available, relevant, and updated regularly. After all, what good is the wisdom of the crowds if the crowds aren’t offering their wisdom?