The wiki as a concept is a proven, useful social instrument for dialogue, interaction and collaboration. When discontinuities occur, they will only be temporary distractions from the ongoing experience many discover here. Contributions and new thought are essential to wikis' health and to sustain and encourage participation.
Events disturbing the ongoing flow of discourse, dissertation, and dialogue on the Wiki can be characterized as discontinuities. There have been several discontinuities in the history of this wiki, with one occurring in March 2002 when this Wiki reached and exceeded 20000 pages. An effort to decrease the number of pages ensued, with the best of intentions, and has resulted in a better wiki adapted for survival and continual growth.
It would be wise for Wikizens to refuse to be distracted by discontinuities, concentrating efforts in involvement which will emphasize collaboration and cooperation.
that accrues as a result is especially beneficial for the many Wiki participants who do not write, refactor, add or delete, but are interested in reading and digesting the worthwhile communications found here. There is much good here to be read, and some of the best is several years old. Current participants will continue to add thoughtful and well reasoned material, while at the same time pruning, refactoring and clarifying what presently exists.
Change is Good
Change is good. Focus is good. Espousing 'normal participation' as one good way to use Wiki does not negate the idea that Wiki has a distinctly innovative way of participation which is far from "normal". In the WorldWideWeb
, it can be said that "Wiki itself is
Interruptions of the trend
The intent is not that one shouldn't rock the boat, however much sense that may make in the RealWorld
, but instead have continuing focus on the addition
by way of contributions, rather than the focus on any singular issue which has the undesirable side-effect of generating flame-wars about such things as what wiki is, what wiki should be, and how wiki is improved by doing this or that. Polarizing statements of opinion which leave no room for adjustment can be made, and perhaps should be made. However the emphasis should be on what is happening, not focused on what was, or has been. After all LifesJustTooShort
. The central theme is that the wiki is a place where the history of computing is not only observed, but where history is also made. There is no disagreement that change is good. There is no argument with the fact that focus is good. Almost everyone would agree to that.
Discontinuities are interruptions of the trend.
It can be
- the introduction of a new topic, as when ExtremeProgramming was introduced some years ago.
- a WikiMindWipe, where certain of the content of the wiki is altered, moved, merged and in some cases deleted entirely.
- a period of crisis as in the events of 9/11.
Reminders not needed
The message if you must have one is this: That the wiki as a concept is a proven, useful social instrument for dialogue, interaction and collaboration. If from time to time discontinuities occur, they will only be temporary distractions from the ongoing experience many discover here. Contributions and new thought are essential to wikis health and to sustain and encourage participation. We do not need reminders of that.
I originally thought it was: "Stop messing with a good thing." Was this the wrong interpretation?
- If you are talking to some one who is listening, and they agree, It might not be wrong.
- If you are talking to some one who is not listening, the interpretation is wasted, not right or wrong.
- If no one hears what you are saying, it doesn't matter.
Change is inevitable
The one predictable thing about a wiki is this: "Change is inevitable". Yes, It might really be: "Keep up a good thing". It is difficult in times of change to maintain a consistent and predictable pattern of activity. Participants, topics and levels of expertise are varied, that makes the experience interesting and likely to continue. "Messing" with a good thing, is a GoodThing
. This is especially true if in the course of messing with the good thing it becomes a better thing.
The only thing constant is change
Opinions change, Participants change, Keepers of the flame change, Emphasis and topics change, W
ikiMechanisms change. The above statement might also be stated in another form: "The thing that is ever present is change".
A point which can be made is that some changes are precipitous in that they influence and initiate a new way of doing things thereafter. Also, one might make the point that the more feeling and emotional attachment one associates with personal agendas, the more likely it is that opposition to changes, particularly those which might seem to put those agendas at risk, will be more energetic and fervent. It is also possible that some will then approach any such disagreement and differences with hostility and conflict. It need not be so, as demonstrated in the page: PositiveDialogueCommunity
. -- DonaldNoyes