Structure and Purpose
Pbworks.com is a wiki site, which enables users to create their wikis. Wikis refer to sites that allow for collaborative development of web content where a user can edit the site at will (Ebersbach, Glaser, Heigl, & Warta, 2008). This promotes knowledge sharing. Its structures allow for individuals, companies, or groups to meet and collaborate in the development of their wiki from remote locations. Pbworks.com provides features that are useful for knowledge sharing. It boasts of the capacity to provide, “hosted collaborative solutions for business and education” (PBwiki, 2011). It provides these solutions to educational institutions, business units, and personal users.
Overall ‘Look and Feel”
The homepage looks very well done. It has a professional look and does not appear overcrowded. This is despite the large number of links that exist on the homepage. The arrangement of the major icons categorizes the various links into large groups that are very easy to follow through. It also commits a lot of space to success stories. These are stories by companies and users who have used pbworks.com and are happy about their experience. This shows that they would like to build user confidence as quickly as possible. It requires a user to log in before using the services.
Apparent Target Audience
From its professional look, it appears the wiki targets various professionals or people who would like a formal feel to their web activities. From the success stories, the wiki appeals to professional organizations. It has special links for various categories of professionals. They include creative services, lawyers, not-for-profit organizations, firms engaged in consultancy, organizations in the medical and biotechnological industry, and educational institutions. It is designed to make corporate clients comfortable using the wiki. In addition to these, it also boasts of providing users with a means of interacting with their offsite teams and clients using intranets and extranets. It also provides a means of sharing knowledge by creating personal wikis under its knowledgebase icon.
How I Would Use It
As an individual, I would use the wiki to develop a knowledge base that attracts people in the IT industry. I realize that there is a need to have collaborative frameworks for IT practitioners. A wiki-like pbworks.com is an ideal way of dealing with this challenge. The knowledge I would share would stem from, “day to day activities” (PBwiki, 2011). The wiki supports collaboration so I would aim at putting together an online community of IT practitioners to share their challenges in the process of developing IT-based solutions for their clients.
Other Areas of Interest
I found the project management component of Pbworks.com very interesting. In today’s world, project management is vital to the development of any organization. Many organizations choose to tackle certain aspects of their business as projects because of the advantages that such an approach brings. IT projects in particular have unique characteristics that affect them. These include, “hardware compatibility, software glitches, network bandwidth” among others (Phillips, 2010, p. 2).
Pbworks.com offers a premium service to help project teams cooperate and coordinate better than using email-based solutions. The email threads usually “hurt project team efficiency and effectiveness” (PBwiki, 2011). The solution provided allows for reducing the time spent to search through various emails and helps the project execution process to progress quickly.
Ebersbach, A., Glaser, M., Heigl, R., & Warta, A. (2008). Wiki: Web Collection. Berlin: Springer.
PBwiki. (2011). Success Stories. Web.
Phillips, J. (2010). IT Project Management. New York: McGraw Hill Professional.