السلام على من اتبع الهدى
Osax on #arabeyes translates it as follows:
He also explained that it was a common saying.
We shall together decide on the right path. Peace to you too.
Piranha supports, but she knows a lot about offline communities, and wants to contribute that somewhere.
Evan: "Are we sure we don't want to be the wiki on wiki?"
MattisManzel: "This is not a crusade. This is a jam-session. We do not know where we are going. This is open. It has no mission."
BayleShanks asks if we are focusing on a topic ("crusade" or "section of the library"), or focused on community ("jam session"). Bayle feels this is a jam session, and favors a broader MissionStatement.
Bayle also believes we should bud content off into more topically focused wiki, and invokes the CommunityWikiSplitProposal. We should create a wiki on wiki, if we don't want to be it.
Alex agrees with Bayle; When interests gain a life of their own, they should develop elsewhere, and taking their pages with them. Alex supports licenses and technologies to support this.
"For the future, I'd like to just continue jamming."
Evan: "I think there's an interesting yin and yang between community and content that's worth exploring… we came here because of the content and developed relationships afterwards."
EvanProdromou prefers a clear MissionStatement and clear SuperordinateGoal. "I'm a little saddened that people aren't into taking up the gauntlet of making a Wiki exploration, analysis and advocacy site."
"I see a lot of enthusiasm here and I don't worry about outcomes too much. It seems like we're all itching to do something important."
LionKimbro agrees with the "jam" theory, but thinks it is a good time to birth a wiki strategy site as well.
The fact is, we don't really talk about communities on-line and off-, here. We talk about wiki communities, and occasionally compare wiki to other technologies in order to better understand what makes it special.
Because we're supposedly about communities in general, we keep having to pretend like we're talking about sewing circles and tribal villages when, in reality, we're just talking about wikis. We have some of the smartest people about wiki involved on this site, but I doubt more than a handful of us have the social-science background to make informed statements about communities in general. There are other communities in the world who can do that job better.
I'd like to propose that we change our mission to something like the following:
:CommunityWiki is a wiki for helping wiki editors, admins, developers and outsiders understand more about how wiki works and how to make it work better. We emphasize wiki's social aspects more than its technical aspects, but we also discuss WikiTechnology? where we think it affects community.
:We talk about other kinds of technology, and other kinds of communities, but we mainly use these as examples to compare or contrast against wiki.
The thing is, nobody else is doing this. The Internet needs it, and noboby's making it a focus. WardsWiki? is, of course, primarily a programming site. MeatballWiki? is about BarnRaising?. Nowhere is it OnTopic to talk about wiki qua wiki, so maybe this should be the place.
nods. i was wondering about that, and had mostly written it off to CW being too new to have talked a lot about other types of online communities, but this makes sense. though; darnit. i know huge amounts more about other online community types than wikis, and nowhere talks about those in a way i feel comfortable contributing. but hey, i'll deal if this is what y'all decide on. maybe i'll just have to start my own.
Well, I wouldn't count on it happening any time too soon. I more posted this as a trial balloon: "Are we sure we don't want to be the wiki on wiki?" Also, I think that knowledge about different types of communities is crucial to understanding wiki communities. I think there's a lot of place for that, even in a WikiOnWiki? wiki.
Important: This is not a crusade. This is a jam-session. We do not know where we are going. This is open. It has no mission. I have experienced good reactions, when trying to make MissionStatement on CaFoscari?, a traditional pagename, I suppose. It is called Intentions on CaFosari? now, far better. What is it good for anyway? Finding out what we want, but what we want is dynamic, and it should be stated that we know and are aware that it is dynamic. It's good for newbees apart. For the WikiNode. MissionStatement. – MattisManzel
So, of course, we have a topic and we have a community, but are we committed to keeping things tightly on topic, or are we more based around the community? I.e. is it a crusade/(section of the library) vs. jam session? Lion was proposing some terminology for this distinction, but I don't know which terms ended up being chosen (please add).
In my opinion, this site has become a jam session. Therefore, we should adopt not a narrower MissionStatement, but a broader one, more like MeatballWiki?'s (see MeatballMission?). This is what I think we should do. I also think that we should be constantly budding off some of our content into more topically focused wikis (see CommunityWikiSplitProposal). For example, I would like to move most of the wiki technology discussion, including clusters etc, to WikiFeatures.
Or, we could choose to be more topical. Either by narrowing the stated topic to match what we discuss, as Evan suggests, or by simply re-emphasizing that we're committed to our stated topic, rather than being a jam session.
I certainly think that either way, there should be a wiki that talks about wikis, and which is topically rather than community-based. If we don't decide to become this ourselves, we should create a new wiki for this purpose, and move some of the discussion from here, to there.
I would like this wiki to talk about group forming, about blogging, about activism, and how small companies or associations can use wikis, what helps associations to form, list all the variations of "democratic" self-government there are (eg. a page such as CorporateMembership), etc. About democracy, but not being the "democracy wiki" but rather "how to apply the ideas of democracy to groups of 10 to 50 people". About wikis, but not about "all the wiki features there are" but rather "useful stuff to keep the number of wiki contributors between 10 and 50". About motivation and leadership, but not a "management" wiki, but rather about "spreading responsability around such that a group of 10 to 50 people is resilient against failures over time".
It is hard to put into words what I am mostly interested in because words are so imprecise whereas I can very easily say whether something interests me or not. In fact, the only description of the questions I am interested in would be the answer – a PatternLanguage for the topics I care about.
Another example of tangents I am interested in. A wiki for our local quarter of town – a few thousand inhabitants, only a few of them connected, trying to organize festivals and parties, performances and concerts. From there to multilingual issues, both technical and sociological, from there to multicultural issues, migration, integration, xenophobia, from there to gender issues… I'm interested in all of that. There's no wikis for those ideas, either.
So I'm mostly with Bayle and Lion, I guess: When a topic gathers so much momentum that its proponents are strong enough to create their own community, and their interests are different enough to warrant a new community, then they should just split, and take their pages with them. In order to facilitate this, I wanted to build both a legal and a technical framework that would allow me to allow others to do just that: CopyLeft and all of our InterLink stuff. We've basically been testing some of the technical stuff by putting some very related wikis on our InterMap and NearMap.
For the future, I'd like to just continue jamming. The topic is rather broad, so let us grow in whatever direction we want, and split later.
For negative examples: I'm not a big friend of the MultilingualExperiment; but I'm happy to have it here so that we can give it a try. I'm interested in seeing it, or something like it, succeed, even if I don't think the current implementation will allow us to do that.
The same is true for the Wiki MIME or shebang discussion. I don't see myself writing importers or exporters for Oddmuse any time soon, now. But clearly there is no other platform to take this talk right now. Eventually it will be moved to one of the taoriver wikis, I'm sure.
I'm also not a big fan of OnceAndOnlyOnce; I enjoy wikis most when a small group of people and friends are using it to build an artefact – a collection of their thoughts and ideas, their onthology and terminology, their discussions and their ramblings.
Anyway, I'm basically being my old conservative self: No change is necessary, as far as I am concerned.
It's interesting to hear all this about CW. I think there's an interesting yin and yang between community and content that's worth exploring. I'm not sure I really buy that CW is the expression of a group of friends, talking about whatever they feel like. My understanding is that we came here because of the content and developed relationships afterwards.
I'm not really a CommunityOverContent type. I like a clear MissionStatement and a clear SuperordinateGoal. But I understand that not everyone thinks that way. I'm a little saddened that people aren't into taking up the gauntlet of making a Wiki exploration, analysis and advocacy site. You couldn't pick a better group of people to do it. But I understand that there are other interests.
Anyways, thought I'd run it up the flagpole.
Evan, as you know, the words describing something and what something actually is are often different, especially over time. I don't worry too much about goal statements or whether or not we're moving towards a goal. Why? Well, if we were a company trying to make a living it'd be different, but the best model I know for invention and creativity (and the model that Silicon Valley tried to emulate again and again) is to put a group of creative people together and see what they'll come up with. Yes, they'll shoot some pool and hang around talking, but they'll likely also go off and do some cool things. The dynamics of small groups requires (I believe) that people get to know each other, develop some affection for both each other and the overall goals, then things begin to cook. I see a lot of enthusiasm here and I don't worry about outcomes too much. It seems like we're all itching to do something important.
Okay, I've been reading what's been written, and have come up with the following:
:CommunityWiki is a stage for music. The players in this jam session are the creative people you see posting. Some of the motifs are communities, wiki, democracy, technology, and society; But, really, there are too many to count. We have no goals, no mission, and we do not know where we are going. But we love the adventures that have been born, loved, died, and reborn in this music.
:There is space on this stage for at least a few dozen people, and it looks like there's plenty of room right now. If you enjoy the music and like who you see, come join on in!
At the same time, I agree with Evan's sense of urgency and mission. I believe we should take up the gauntlet of making a Wiki exploration, analysis, and advocacy site. I'll write about this on: WikiAdvanceWiki.
Excellent summary, Lion! All in all, a great conversation, and an enlightening one.
i'm really happy about this conversation – this is just how i want to interact with people; have them say what they would like, have each other respect that, and get new ideas in the process. whew – now i have lots of ideas on stuff to write.
i also think that there is nothing standing in the way of making this an exploration, analysis, and advocacy site for wikis – it just won't be solely defined by that, but it might well be what crystallizes from the cauldron. i have most definitely learned a lot about wikis through here already, and i like the tone a lot.
If this is a jam session I would recognize its need in two alternative ways: if I am a player I may feel urged to join the other players; if I am not a player? I might join as a listner; good thing for jam sessions; not good enough for wikis.
This reminds me an old popular title : … don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing …
Would dancing be more appropriate for wikis than jazz playing ? … The problem in this case becomes making the need understandable even by people who "haven't got feet" …
Shall we dance?
Luigi, you have a voice here. You are a player. It's just a metaphor from music, where things maybe get done earlier than in language. Dance is another possible example, yes.