A brief comparison of folders and wikis when used for storing policies or creating knowledge bases.
Folders or wikis? Igloo communities offer several different options for knowledge management, and there are some common questions about which channels work well for those purposes. When setting up areas with policies, procedures, knowledge bases or resources, should you upload documents into folder channels, or enter them into the community as wiki articles? Migrating policies can be a huge task, so it's important to get the solution that's right for you.
Wikis and folders are more alike than they are different. Naturally, they're both governed by your community's access control, and can hold long form text or documents. Beyond that, the contents of both types are fully versioned, so you'll always have the ability to roll back an article or document. They feature comments, tasks, archiving, read tracking, and all other functions that are universal across content types in Igloo. Wiki articles and any attachments, as well as files in folders, are also indexed in search, and have multiple widget options available to them in order to feature content on pages and spaces.
However, there are some differences as well.
Folders have a few big advantages when it comes to storing policies and procedures, including:
- The ability to use the Igloo Desktop Tool to add and organize files quickly and easily.
- Nested folder structures that allow documents to be grouped together any way you like.
- Individual documents can be embedded into any HTML widget or article in the community.
Wikis are not without their own strengths however:
- Wiki articles are subject to the style settings of your community, so updates to the look and feel of your community affect your knowledge base.
- They can contain links to other areas in the community, making it easy to created interconnected webs of information.
- Wiki articles can be edited directly in the browser, so it's straightforward to make quick or comprehensive changes.
- Wiki Index widgets allow several wikis to be joined together on a Page, letting teams maintain their own knowledge bases in their spaces while keeping a high level view available on a page.
Migration can be a lot of work to tack on to building out your community, so some communities take a phased approach. Policies and procedures, usually stored in pdfs or similar formats, are uploaded to a folder channel, and built out into wikis later. Folders are the final word in getting your documents into the community quickly from network drives or other services, but wikis help create more robust, mobile-friendly, and interconnected sets of articles, to help people move across the community to the policy they need without any friction.
The real answer is that you should do what works best for your needs, and make the platform work for you. For more information about folder and wiki channels, you can read up on them in our Knowledge Base, or ask a question in the Community area.