Wiki Lessons Learned

“Sam Ruby”: has posted the “slides”: from his “presentation”: at “ETCon”: on lessons learned from running the “!Echo wiki”: He notes:

bq.: If you have a coherently aligned and focused community, a wiki can be a very powerful thing, allowing collaboration to proceed at an astounding pace.

If you have a community in imperfect alignment, a wiki will accurately reflect this state. Given a group with a genuine desire to align, a wiki can provide a powerful and positive feedback loop.

But what happens when you have an unbounded community with divergent goals?

He also mentions the enormous energy that has gone in to the project, resulting in over 1000 pages on the Wiki – some of that energy is deliberately disruptive or destructive – resulting in the need for a role he describes:

bq.: In addition to host, a role that I have played is one of lightning rod. A number of hurtful and untrue things have been said about me, and the company I work for.

“A grounded metal rod placed high on a structure to prevent damage by conducting lightning to the ground.”

Note the recurring theme of energy production, absorption, and dissipation…

He compares the characteristics of “mailing lists”: and “blogs”: with the wiki; flags the importance of “snapshots”: ;and concludes with the following lessons:

# “Time counts”:

# “Cultivate contributors”:

# “Use a mix of strategies”:

It strikes me that there are some good candidate “collaboration patterns”: here – I’ll play around on the “Synesthesia wiki”: and blog when I have some drafts…

Julian Elve
Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change

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