- Wikis … I just think they’re ahead of their time … That and the fact that people won’t really want to change the content of a site that isn’t theirs, because that’s a bit like trespassing. – Carl 
Once you break the seal of editing a wiki, you can quickly forget what it was like to be on the other side, looking in. A non-editor may feel inhibited by participating on a particular wiki, or even in wikis in general.
- Have never edited any wiki ever
- Not sure what the boundaries are for on-top or off-topic
- Not know ‘where’ to place new contributions
- May feel like, since the party’s already started, they won’t be able to fit in (?)
How can we encourage people to participate?
CommunalWikis will most likely want to ensure the continual introduction of new members
- By making the ‘intro pages’ brief and concise- not giving a flood of information
- By creating clear instructions:
- “This is how to edit… “ (where to click may not be obvious)
- “These are the BehavioralNorms of this wiki” (see Explicit v Implicit)
- By addressing the fears directly and frankly:
- “Most people may be inhibited when contributing on any wiki for the first time” (you’re not alone/weird etc)
- By treating WikiNewbies with respect and patience, this will become a model for other wiki newbies to see (oh someone else is a newbie here, it’s ok)
- By translating interesting contibutions - not only to English but to whatever language.
- By correcting people’s non-mothertongue contributions and gently teach them how to do it right on their homepage when obvious mistakes are repeated.
i’m just trying to remember my own experiences/feelings, maybe others were different? --HeatherJames
In the very long term, I expect that eventually everyone will have heard of wikis (I think they will be taught in elementary school, along with essay-writing) and this will cease to be a problem. Not to say that we shouldn’t worry about it until then.
I think that this term is not really that long after all: one generation.
Some of them will end up with something that is more like GooglePages? and less like WardsWiki. This is already happening now. A lot of hierarchical organizations reject wiki that is intended to be used in the way that, for instance, CommunityWiki is used. I think this is partially because the process tends to DevolvePower too much…