Wiki Now

It is nice to see Wiki grow. Sometimes people come along and try to make it into something else. They debate ways of authoring pages, whether ThreadMode is good or bad. Like any community, people have to deal with issues like property rights, ethics, and the TragedyOfTheCommons. That is all part of Wiki, but it may not affect Wiki much. Why?

Do this right now... find an author's name and click on it. When you get to their page click on their name again. Wait for a little while. You'll see a list of all of the pages that contain their name. Find a page you've never looked at before. Dig a bit. How old is the page? Sure, it has a modification date at the bottom but when did the page start? When were each of the comments started? How many pages haven't you read? How many links lead to them?

For fun, click on your own name. If you've been using Wiki for a while, hunt around and decide whether you still agree with comments you made months ago or years ago.

Wiki is an eternal now.

It is timeless. Anything can be deleted at any time, but everything that has not been on RecentChanges for a while stands on equal footing. Nobody has done anything like this before. Wiki's growth will outstrip any attempt to change it. Wiki is its own history. It is a good history, and it will guide growth over time because it is a living document of what Wiki is and has been. We write in a perpetual WikiNow.

Contrast LongNow. Parallel PerpetualNow, WikiYesterday, WikiTomorrow (a very, very long time)

Everything that has not been on RecentChanges for a while does not stand on equal footing - its importance is rated by how many pages it is linked to. how many pages are linked to it? See ThingsOnWikisMind. -- FalkBruegmann

Two things: ThingsOnWikisMind was "refactored" (well, rewritten) recently. Secondly, that reference was more of an allusion. WikiHighlights once had a discussion about Alexandrian centres on Wiki, but that was munged as well. Now Wiki has amnesia, as you see.

The only reason Wiki is Now is because Wiki lacks any kind of versioning system (VersionControlAppliedToWiki). The idea that Wiki pages are 'flat' corresponds to the idea many organizations have of a LivingDocument, and the DocumentMode which makes Wiki effective for PatternsMining and ExtremeProgramming. -- WillSargent

True originally, but Wiki now keeps HistoryPages.

Not permanently. HistoryPages are eventually deleted. They are intended for supporting NewRecentChanges and more involved reverts.

[There is an] interesting point that those of us who weren't around to witness the history culminating in a WikiMindWipe are doomed to repeat it, because no evidence has been left. I have no idea what [a banned individual] got up to as the evidence has been so effectively erased, so I have only the word of people who appear to be engaging in mass deletions (with comments like 'delete, so-and-so junk' on pages that appeared innocent) that they're acting in the best interest of the community. -- DarrenHobbs

I think this is a side-effect of the WikiNow - we have a very effective MemoryHole. -- EarleMartin

That is indeed an interesting point, and one that goes to the heart of the WikiNature. Aside from the aberration of the escalated EditWars in unfortunately-recent memory, the general theory is that mistakes made by those who say that they're acting in the best interest of the community, but are not (accidentally or maliciously, either way), will eventually be repaired by the slow but inexorable force of lurking WikiGnomes, usually after LetHotPagesCool, sometimes long after. And that this is the more important part of the WikiNature than the short-term noise in RecentChanges. It's like the InvisibleHand theory of economics, perhaps. -- DougMerritt

Instead of mad deletion, I'd suggest partitioning into summary pages and discussion pages, somewhat like WikiPedia's main page and "talk" pages. Buried in meandering thread-mode pages are usually various arguments. A summary page can document the claims and suggestions in a cleaner way, perhaps with reference markers to the debate portion for each summary point.

Or, we could head toward ThesisAntithesisSynthesis as a perhaps more succinct solution.

CategoryWiki CategoryWikiReflection

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