Well, hello there! Let’s talk about wikis, shall we? But before we dive into that, let me tell you a shocking fact: did you know that the average knowledge worker spends nearly 2.5 hours daily searching for information? That’s about 30% of their workday gone!

And if that’s not enough to make your heart race, consider this: 19% of an employee’s business time, equivalent to a full day in a workweek, is lost on searching for information they need to do their job. It’s enough to make you think of the chaos and mess in the workplace due to unorganized information.

To save you from this chaos, wikis are those magical collaborative platforms where anyone and everyone can edit and contribute to a shared knowledge base. It’s like a virtual playground for the nerds, where we can all come together and share our infinite wisdom.

The idea of wikis has been there since the early 90s, but it took off with the creation of Wikipedia in 2001. And now, wikis are used in nearly all types of businesses, from software development to marketing to education.

So why are wikis so important for businesses, you ask? Well, imagine you’re working on a big project with a team of people scattered around the globe. But the question is that how will you keep everyone on the same page? How will you ensure everyone has access to the latest information and updates? That’s where wikis come in. By creating a common and shared knowledge base, you can ensure that everyone has access to the right information and can collaborate in real-time to bring changes and updates as required.

But before anything else, firstly, let’s delve into the distinctions between public and private wikis and build a compelling argument for why an internal wiki is an indispensable asset for a rapidly expanding team. So, put on your glasses and read on.


What is an Internal Wiki?

An internal wiki is like a private website only your team can access. It serves as a central repository for information, allowing employees to collaborate, edit and share information with one another in real-time.

Let’s say you’re working on a project with multiple team members. You can use the internal wiki to create a page with all the project details, deadlines, and relevant files. Everyone on the team can access it and contribute to it by adding their own notes or updates.

This way, you won’t have to answer the same questions all the time, and everyone can quickly access the information they need without wasting time.

The reason it’s internal is that it’s meant to be a secure and confidential space for your team or company to share knowledge. By keeping it within your organization, you can control who has access to the information and ensure it’s only used internally.

It also helps to ensure that knowledge is not lost when employees leave the organization, as it is stored in a centralized location that others can access.

Now, it’s time to have a detailed discussion on the external wiki. So, don’t stop here; jump to the next section.

Related: Wiki Sites: What are They & How To Create a Wiki?


What is an External Wiki?

Just like Wikipedia is an external wiki where millions of people contribute their knowledge to create a vast online resource, an external wiki can be used for various purposes, including knowledge management, project collaboration, and document sharing.

An external wiki that is not hosted on the organization’s internal network but rather on an external server or cloud platform. They are typically accessible from any device with an internet connection, making them ideal for remote teams or individuals.

It also can allow greater collaboration with external partners or clients, as they can be easily shared and accessed.

Think of it like a public library. Just as a library is a repository of knowledge accessible to everyone, an external wiki is a digital platform for knowledge sharing accessible to external stakeholders.

You must now know about the internal and external wikis and their functionality. It’s time to discuss various factors that differentiate internal and external wikis. Go on and explore it in the next section.


Internal Wiki Vs External Wiki: What is the Key Difference?

There are two types of wikis – internal and external. While both serve similar purposes, some key differences set them apart. Understanding these differences can help organizations choose the right type of wiki for their needs and maximize their potential for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and engagement. Let’s take a look at these differences in more detail:

1. Accessibility

The primary difference between an internal and external wiki is accessibility. An internal wiki is only accessible to employees, while an external wiki can be accessed by anyone within and outside the organization with internet access.

Internal wikis require a login and password, while external wikis are open to the public. This difference in accessibility allows organizations to control who has access to sensitive information and who can contribute to knowledge sharing.


2. Purpose

An internal wiki aims to promote collaboration and information sharing among team members. In contrast, an external wiki is designed to provide information to a wider audience, such as customers, clients, or the general public.

External wikis are designed for external knowledge sharing, customer support, and marketing and are not just limited to internal knowledge sharing and collaboration.


3. Content

The content in an internal wiki is typically confidential, sensitive, or proprietary information only relevant to the organization’s team members. Internal wikis often contain information about company policies, procedures, and internal documents.

On the other hand, the content in an external wiki is typically general information about a product, service, or industry that can benefit a wider audience. It may include marketing materials, product documentation, and FAQs.

As we conclude our discussion on content, think of security. Have you ever wondered what separates internal and external wikis when safeguarding data? Find out in the next one.


4. Security

Since an internal wiki contains sensitive information, it is usually protected by security measures such as firewalls and user authentication to ensure that confidential information is not leaked.

In contrast, an external wiki is generally open and accessible to the public, but it may still have security features such as user permissions and access controls.


5. Maintenance

Internal wikis are typically maintained by the organization’s IT or knowledge management team, and a team of content creators and moderators maintains external wikis.

Internal wikis are updated regularly to reflect changes in the organization’s terms and procedures, but external wikis are updated to reflect changes in product features, customer needs, and industry trends.

Continue reading next; we will dive into branding and explore the key differences between these two types of wikis in shaping your brand’s identity.


6. Branding

External wikis can be branded to reflect an organization’s identity, values, and messaging, and on the flip side, internal wikis are usually branded with standard organizational branding. External wikis may also have customized themes, colors, and graphics to align with the organization’s overall branding.


7. Navigation

A more complex navigation system is present in an internal wiki to help users find and organize content, whereas external wikis are designed to be more user-friendly and accessible.

Internal wikis may have multiple layers of information, requiring users to click through several pages to find what they need. In contrast, external wikis often have a more straightforward structure with clear links and menus.

In short, an internal wiki is like a private, virtual space where team members can share and collaborate on information. An external wiki is more like a public-facing knowledge base accessible to a wider audience.

So, internal and external wikis serve different purposes and audiences, and with the help of the differences discussed above, you can choose the best one for your organization’s needs.

Now that we understand the basics of internal and external wikis, you may wonder how they are used in real life. Let me give you a glimpse of the world of wikis beyond the theory. Scroll down to explore!


Internal Wiki Vs External Wiki: The Examples!

From large tech companies to open-source communities, wikis are used in various contexts to facilitate collaboration, knowledge sharing, and information dissemination. Join me as we explore real-life examples of external and internal wikis, from the famous IBM’s internal wiki “Bluepedia” to the ubiquitous online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

1. Internal Wiki

One example is IBM, which has a private or internal wiki called “Bluepedia”. BluePedia is a collaborative encyclopedia created by IBMers for IBMers, encompassing a wealth of general knowledge about IBM.

It provides a user-friendly and searchable platform, facilitating the sharing and expansion of knowledge from the global community of over 300,000 IBMers.

BluePedia employs a singular co-authoring platform, which ensures the development and implementation of a universal vocabulary across all regions, thus enabling swift recognition and identification of subject matter experts.


2. External Wiki

One of the most well-known examples of a public wiki is Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia anyone can edit.

Wikipedia has become one of the largest sources of information on the internet because it is an open platform that allows anyone to contribute to its articles.

Another example of an external wiki is Wikia(now Fandom). This platform hosts wikis on various topics, from popular TV shows and video games to historical events and scientific concepts. These wikis are created and maintained by fans, enthusiasts, and experts who share their knowledge and passion with the world.

As we conclude our exploration of the internal and external wiki examples, you may wonder which one best fits your needs. Fortunately, we have answered this question for you in the next section! Find out!


How To Choose The Right One For You?

Are you considering implementing a wiki in your organization but unsure whether to use an internal or external option? Don’t worry – this is a common confusion that many businesses face. The key is to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully to ensure you make the best decision for your company’s unique needs. Here are some factors that you can consider before making a decision:

1. Objective

First and foremost, consider the objective of your wiki. Is it primarily for your organization’s internal use, such as team collaboration and knowledge-sharing? Or do you need a platform to share information with external stakeholders such as customers, vendors, or partners? If your wiki is primarily for internal use, an internal option may be more suitable, while an external option may be better for public-facing information.


2. Security

Security is a critical consideration when choosing between an internal and external wiki. Internal wikis offer more control over who can access and edit content, while external wikis are typically less secure and can leave your organization vulnerable to data breaches. An internal wiki is likely the best option if you need to share sensitive information or data.


3. Customizability

Depending on your organization’s unique needs, you may need a wiki that is highly customizable. External wikis may offer more flexibility in terms of customization, while internal wikis may have limitations due to internal IT policies and procedures. If customization is essential, then you can go for an external wiki.

Customizability is a key factor to consider while choosing a wiki. But what about the cost? Well, that’s a different story altogether. Keep reading to discover how cost plays a role in choosing the right type of wiki for you and your business needs.


4. Cost

Cost is always a factor when making business decisions. Internal wikis are typically cheaper, as they are hosted internally and do not require external hosting fees. On the other hand, external wikis may require ongoing hosting fees, depending on the provider. However, an external wiki may offer more robust features and benefits that can offset the additional cost.


5. Ease of Use

Finally, consider the ease of use for your end-users. A wiki that is difficult to navigate or use may not be adopted by your team or stakeholders, which can hinder collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Evaluate the user interface and features of both internal and external wikis to determine which option is the most user-friendly.

Choosing between an internal and external wiki depends on your organization’s needs and requirements. Considering these factors, you can make an informed decision to benefit your team and stakeholders. But remember, the right choice can boost collaboration, productivity, and overall success, so choose wisely.


Wrapping Up

Well, it looks like we’ve come to the end of our internal vs. external wiki showdown! I hope you now better understand the key differences between the two and can confidently choose the right one for your needs.

But now it’s time to take action. Are you ready to streamline your team’s communication, knowledge sharing, and collaboration? Are you ready to create a company wiki that will revolutionize the way you work?

Well, look no further than bit.ai! With its user-friendly interface, rich embeds, powerful collaboration tools, content library, team workspaces, and customizable templates, bit.ai is the perfect software for creating an internal and external wiki to make your team’s life easier more efficient. The security of bit.ai is exceptional, as it provides many security features that make it one of the safest platforms for creating and sharing wikis.

So what are you waiting for? Get started today and experience the magic of an internal wiki powered by bit.ai. As they say, “Work smarter, not harder!”

Further Reads:

Corporate Wiki Guide for All types of Businesses!

How to Encourage Knowledge Sharing in the Workplace?

Company Wiki Vs Knowledge Base: Understanding The Key Differences!

Knowledge Management Process: A Comprehensive Guide!

Knowledge Sharing at the Workplace For Enhancing Productivity

Discover the Best Wiki Software: Its Types and Benefits

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