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Burningbird: NotWiki

Wikis favor the aggressive, the obsessive, and the compulsive: aggressive to edit or delete others work; obsessive to keep up with the changes; and compulsive to keep pick, pick, picking at the pages, until there's dozens of dinky little edits everyday, and thousands of dinky little offshoot pages.

Such attention to detail often makes for great content. On the other hand, the state of the atom wiki shows perhaps, that there hasn't been enough of this. We need to find our inner editor :)

What we need now is a hold moment. We need to put this effort into Pause, and to look around at the devastation and figure what to keep and what to move aside; and to document the effort, and its history, for the folks who have pulled away from the Wiki because of the atmosphere.

Sounds like a code freeze, which is a process smell. But in this case I agree - atom wiki is in real need of a spring cleaning.

The atmosphere is that which the contributers brought with them - smart, bitchy, agressive, polarized, individualistic. The wiki if anything dissipates the negative connotations of that energy. The value in being moronic plummets when you realize anyone can remove your words. For your words to remain, they must be of value. You are in a sense coerced into to make a positive contribution. On a wiki, negativity doesn't scale.

But Wikis also favor enormous amounts of collaboration among a pretty disparate crew, which is why there's also all sorts of feeds being tested, and APIs being explored, and a data model that everyone feels pretty darn good about. So one can also say that Wikis favor the motivated, the dedicated, and the determined.

DoublePlusGood :)

We need to record what's been accomplished in a non-perishable (i.e. not editable), human manner. No Internet standard specification format. Words. Real ones. We then need to give people a chance to comment on this work, but not in the Wiki. Or not only in the wiki. Document the material in one spot -- a weblog. After all, this is about weblogging -- doesn't it make sense that we start moving this into the weblogging world again? Not bunches of weblogs, with bits and pieces.

I think if it was only about weblogs, none of this would matter very much. But I suspect this is about the near future of both content syndication and content notification. And that's any content. RSS is going to be used in a lot of unexpected places in the next eighteen months - for example, it's a great fit with web services asynchronous messaging, which depending on your point of view is either a land of opportunity or the latest revenue nightmare. Owning and influencing direction is everything.

August 4, 2003 06:11 PM


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