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The company I work at uses wikis to distribute and share knowledge. I always felt when using wikis that they are unstructured, the knowledge is obscured and I cannot even be sure the knowledge I am looking for is even present. Wikis are good for documenting knowledge in case someone on the team forgets something. I would argue that wiki is knowledge sharing backwards. First you document the answer, then somebody has to come along with the right question.

Judging from the meeting I attended where knowledge sharing was discussed the "higher ups" aren't completely happy with the state of knowledge sharing at our company either.

So I suggested using Stack Overflow Enterprise (or a clone) because it is knowledge sharing the right way: somebody asks a question, somebody with the knowledge answers. SO makes finding knowledge extremely easy and it's using gamification to motivate users to share knowledge.

What other advantages might I mention when I go into the meeting to discuss Stack Overflow for our company? Is SO Enterprise used in your company for internal knowledge sharing? What are your experiences? Can you tell me numbers?

  • Interesting question, though possibly off-topic here. It might be more appropriate for The Workplace. The last part makes it too opinion-based however. I suggest you focus on "How can I convince my co-workers/management to use an SE-like system" (or "vote-based system", if you want to make it more neutral). – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Oct 11 '16 at 6:51
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    Consider that SE provides some anonymity due to its large user base. If someone upvotes/downvotes you, you can't tell who it was. In a small company, you often can find out - leading to unnecessary drama. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Oct 11 '16 at 6:52
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    @S.L.Barth Not sure why you think to should go on The Workplace. Can you elaborate? – Patrick Hofman Oct 11 '16 at 7:38
  • @PatrickHofman The question is about what type of tool to use for knowledge sharing at work, and how to defend a specific choice. I'm fine with keeping this on MSE though. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Oct 11 '16 at 7:47
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Note: I work on the Enterprise team here at Stack Overflow

Based on my conversations with companies so far, a general dissatisfaction with knowledge sharing and access, but without an exact idea of how to fix it, is pretty common at a lot of institutions.

We break down the primary advantages of SO Enterprise (and really Q&A in general) into three main points:

  1. Discoverability - it's really important that information is easy to find so that the same questions aren't getting asked over and over again - it's much better if someone just searches and finds an already answered question. Q&A is much better for this than wikis or documentation because of of the information is split up into small chunks.
  2. Ease of Use - Writing a whole page of documentation is a lot of work, and it's hard to get people to do it. Conversely, it's pretty easy to write a good question or answer in about 5 minutes, because its so targeted and specific. This helps get more information out of more people instead of relying on a dedicated team to write all the docs.
  3. Recognition - This is a huge piece too of course, you have to recognize people for their contributions and incent them to participate. Traditional knowledge management systems don't do this at all.

If you'd like even more info, along with some specific numbers and examples, I'd encourage you to reach out to our Enterprise team by submitting your info over on our SO Enterprise information page.

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