WikiSpaces: yet more church content management on the cheap

If your content is well organized yet relatively static then a simple service such as WikiSpaces may be all the hosting and content management software your church, charity, community and/or classroom ever needs.

As much of a fan as I am of leveraging the power of blogs as a form if inexpensive, in-house content management for churches, I also realize that it may not be the best tool to manage and maintain your organization’s web presence.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • is your, or can your church’s message be well organized into small, single topic compartments?
  • does this information remain relatively static?
  • do you or will you have opportunities to invite other staff or lay persons to add or edit content?
  • will said staff actually contribute content from time to time
  • do you have a need to post from anywhere?
  • is your most frequent need for posting sermons, lessons, studies and periodic special event descriptions?
  • are the lack of forms, picture galleries, polls and slick programming a non-issue?
  • are you happy with your current web site but would like to leverage a wiki for lesson plans, topical studies and/or sermon series?
  • have you tried the WordPress or Blogger thing and it’s either too much, not enough or not just right?

If you’ve answered yes to a majority of the above questions, and if you’re a small to mid-size church whose message is clear and compartmentalized – but not all that well presented or maintained due to constraints on time and resources then perhaps a Wiki is the way to go to help you move your content management issues off your desk space and into the web space.

Meaning, perhaps a service such as WikiSpaces is the right tool for the job – the same way a hammer is usually better than a chainsaw for driving in nails (though not nearly as much fun).

For those of you nodding your head – I spent a couple of hours last night cobbling together a simple demonstration site over on WikiSpaces that includes some examples and links to help you decide if there is indeed a Wiki in your organization’s future.

screenshot of demo site - click to go there

Honestly, even though I was using the limited, ad-sponsored free version, I found it offered several cool tools such as an easy-to-use AJAX-driven editor, RSS file integration, easy-peazy backups, and a reasonable pricing structure for those who want no ads and more features.

Now if I could just figure out how to integrate either Google or Yahoo’s calendar applications, I’d think we’d be all set for the perfect “poor man’s content manglement” solution … but I digress.

Leave comments here to share the smarts – or just to say hi and or gain editor access to my little mad little experiment