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Last year, me and three good old friends of mine founded a small web/mobile development team. Things are going pretty well. We're learning a lot, and new people are joining the group. Keeping knowledge always updated and in-sync is vital for us. Long emails threads are simply not the way to go for us: too dispersing and confusing, and hard to retrieve after a while.

How your team manages and organizes common knowledge? How do you collect and share useful resources (articles, links, libraries, etc) inside your team?

Update: Thanks for the feedback. More than using a wiki to share team common procedures or informations, I'd like to share external links, articles, code libraries, and be able to comment them easily within my team.
I was particularly interested in knowing if you're aware of any way/webservice to share a reading list with a team. I mean, something like Readitlater/Instapaper, but for teams, maybe with some stats available, like "# of coworkers who read it".

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 11 '11 at 0:43

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7  
Have you tried setting up an internal wiki? –  George Jul 10 '11 at 22:39
    
The team I'm working with use twiki.org and it works pretty well. –  lukas Jul 10 '11 at 22:40
    
Yes, we have Redmine, but is not that useful to share more "volatile" bits of informations like links, articles and code libraries. –  Stefano Verna Jul 10 '11 at 22:54
    
What about your own RSS feed? –  George Jul 10 '11 at 23:00
    
We do all of this with our wiki. We just have it broken down into subject. –  Chad Jul 11 '11 at 2:35

5 Answers 5

One of the most commonly used tools for this is usually a wiki. There are many open-source wiki tools out there (MediaWiki, TikiWiki, DokuWiki to name a few), many times wiki comes bundled with other tools that support software development (Jira, Trac, Mingle, FogBugz...).

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Thanks, what about something sharing stuff like links and articles. How do you manage to communicate to your team stuff like these? –  Stefano Verna Jul 10 '11 at 22:55
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Well, we use wiki also for these. We have some wiki articles with interesting links and if I stumble upon something really interesting, I usually send additional e-mail after updating our wiki... –  mouser Jul 10 '11 at 23:06

Wikis are really fantastic tools with a very low barrier to entry for people adding information.

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Yep, but, as I said above, wikis are not that useful to share more "volatile" bits of informations like links, articles and code libraries. How do you manage to notify coworkers about these kind of stuff? –  Stefano Verna Jul 10 '11 at 22:56
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oh ok. Have you considered something like Yammer or SocialCast for simple link sharing and chit-chat? –  Scott Jul 10 '11 at 23:00
    
Thinking more - I really like SocialCast. Yammer is a bit more like Twitter - probably not exactly what you want. socialcast.com –  Scott Jul 10 '11 at 23:03

Documenting knowledge and keeping it up-to-date is a huge task.
There's no silver bullet but I have used the strategies below.
There are my personal recommendations. They work for me, some may work for you.

  • Maintain documentation in markdown format (the same format that Stack Overflow uses). This can also make the documentation more usable by people on the fringe of the technical team who can read it better when the formatting is applied and it's viewed in a web browser.

  • Maintain other reference material in google docs and spreadsheets. These work as there is no 'save' button and that one simple fact takes care of 5242 sharing issues that you would have otherwise.

  • Promote the material. As will all aspects of life, it doesn't matter how good something is unless other people know about it. Promote the material, make it easier to access and update.

  • Better code. As you touched on code libraries I'll take this moment to say make sure people also focus on their own code, making sure that it's readable. For example encourage

    tax_total = item_price + item_tax (no comment needed).

    over constructs like

    ttotal = i_price + i_tax # Tax total is price + item tax

  • We maintain common code using git and github and we use their wiki format there.

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This may be a long shot, but where I work, we share links, interesting Q&A questions, blogs, videos and other non company related content on our Facebook group.

It may not be an option in every company, but it's working greatly with our team.

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You might want to check out some of these enterprise social networking apps for some more private forum for facebook style sharing. Names that come to mind are yammer or jive but there are others.

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