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> Lasciate Ogne Speranza, Voi Ch'intrate, Tangent To The Dark Wood Of Wiki Bios
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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 6th June 2008, 8:16pm
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Through Me Is The Way Into The Woeful Wiki

Through Me Is The Way Into The Eternal Woe

Through Me Is The Way Among The Lost People

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Milton Roe
post Sun 22nd June 2008, 7:42pm
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QUOTE(BobbyBombastic @ Sun 22nd June 2008, 6:22am) *

I think that in a few years we'll be the nerds on the internet telling people how wikis used to be, while the majority of internet users are off doing some different type of internet hijinks, paying little attention to us because wikis have become irrelevant. At least that is what I hope. smile.gif

You can abandon THAT hope. Wikis (I don't mean Wikipedia Wikis-- I mean all types of collaborative Wikis) are destined to be a core feature of human networked collaboration into the forseeable future for as long as humans (as we know them) work on projects on the internet (as we know it). So don't hold your breath. You might as well wait for websites or bulletin boards or blogs to end.

The good news: most of the bad features of Wikipedia are NOT, repeat NOT, intrinsic features of Wikis themselves.

M

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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 22nd June 2008, 8:03pm
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Sun 22nd June 2008, 3:42pm) *

QUOTE(BobbyBombastic @ Sun 22nd June 2008, 6:22am) *

I think that in a few years we'll be the nerds on the internet telling people how wikis used to be, while the majority of internet users are off doing some different type of internet hijinks, paying little attention to us because wikis have become irrelevant. At least that is what I hope. smile.gif


You can abandon THAT hope.


Now where have I heard that before ???

Jon Alighieri cool.gif

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Kelly Martin
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 4:35pm
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Sun 22nd June 2008, 7:42pm) *

The good news: most of the bad features of Wikipedia are NOT, repeat NOT, intrinsic features of Wikis themselves.
Indeed, they're instead intrinsic features of any large, unmanaged Internet community. Wikipedia exhibits most of the same failings as virtually all other large distance-mediated communities that have come before it. Of course, Wikipedia insists that they're sui generis, and therefore don't have to pay attention to anything that came before. Oops.
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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:00pm
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 12:35pm) *

QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Sun 22nd June 2008, 7:42pm) *

The good news: most of the bad features of Wikipedia are NOT, repeat NOT, intrinsic features of Wikis themselves.


Indeed, they're instead intrinsic features of any large, unmanaged Internet community. Wikipedia exhibits most of the same failings as virtually all other large distance-mediated communities that have come before it. Of course, Wikipedia insists that they're sui generis, and therefore don't have to pay attention to anything that came before. Oops.


No, you are both confusing the Intrinsic Features of a particular genre of SocWare with the probability of their abuse in a given User Population.

The Intrinsic Features that permit the abuses in question are integral to the wiki paradigm — it is only that well-disciplined communities of interest seldom abuse the powers afforded by these features. In such communities a brand of naive idealism is not wholly unjustified. In the wider world the pleasant fantasy about human behavior purveyed by Wikipediots crosses the line from blissful ignorance to dangerous hallucination.

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Milton Roe
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:08pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:00pm) *

The Intrinsic Features that permit the abuses in question are integral to the wiki paradigm — it is only that well-disciplined communities of interest seldom abuse the powers afforded by these features.


Blah. Only as you can say the same about all writing, personal publishing, and use of computers in general. There's nothing special about Wikis. They're just multi-user message boards and collaborative writing work records, with better record keeping about what is done to them and when. And who does it, if you choose to set them up that way. WP doesn't, but that's not the fault of the mechanism itself. In theory we could (for example) completely cease to pay attention to driver licenses and ID for drivers, and have automobiles with interchangable or missing license plates. The result would be chaos, but not the fault of the automobile itself, as transportation invention, per se. Don't blame Wikis.
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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:14pm
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 1:08pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:00pm) *

The Intrinsic Features that permit the abuses in question are integral to the wiki paradigm — it is only that well-disciplined communities of interest seldom abuse the powers afforded by these features.


Blah. Only as you can say the same about all writing, personal publishing, and use of computers in general. There's nothing special about Wikis. They're just multi-user message boards and collaborative writing work records, with better record keeping about what is done to them and when. And who does it, if you choose to set them up that way. WP doesn't, but that's not the fault of the mechanism itself. In theory we could (for example) completely cease to pay attention to driver licenses and ID for drivers, and have automobiles with interchangable or missing license plates. The result would be chaos, but not the fault of the automobile itself, as transportation invention, per se. Don't blame Wikis.


Er … Do you even know the defining features of the wiki software paradigm?

Why don't you think about this for a while.

Jon cool.gif
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gomi
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:17pm
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 9:35am) *
QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Sun 22nd June 2008, 7:42pm) *
The good news: most of the bad features of Wikipedia are NOT, repeat NOT, intrinsic features of Wikis themselves.
Indeed, they're instead intrinsic features of any large, unmanaged Internet community. Wikipedia exhibits most of the same failings as virtually all other large distance-mediated communities that have come before it. Of course, Wikipedia insists that they're sui generis, and therefore don't have to pay attention to anything that came before. Oops.

Welcome, Kelly, but I disagree. In my view, there are several aspects of both Wikipedia and Wikis in general that make them more difficult places to form organized, lasting online communities.

Wikipedia's insistence on continuing the charade of non-hierarchy and consensus decision-making is one key distinguishing characteristic. This silly idea, which sometimes (accidentally) works for very small communities, has utterly failed at WP. In the absence of a designed hierarchy, an ad hoc one has formed, of editing IPs, logged-in editors, and administrators, and then a hierarchy of administrators, with various factions, cabals, the ArbCom, bureaucrats, rollbackers, and whatnot running around. You yourself have eloquently pointed out how the whole "!vote" (not-vote) process that pretends to be consensus hamstrings Wikipedia and could be changed.

Wikis as a class lack the tools to implement a meaningful social structure that would allow for some form of governance, and while one could theoretically overlay that model, I have not seen it happen. In the absence of something deliberate, you get a mob and warlords, as we have now on WP.
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Rootology
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:28pm
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QUOTE(gomi @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 10:17am) *

Wikis as a class lack the tools to implement a meaningful social structure that would allow for some form of governance, and while one could theoretically overlay that model, I have not seen it happen. In the absence of something deliberate, you get a mob and warlords, as we have now on WP.


For public sites that rely on total strangers, sure. Wikis as a software tool are fine for internal uses, though, such as internal corporate knowledge bases, institutional memory dumps, and catalogs of information, where such social structures to "enforce" something aren't needed. But then, in those cases, you have the existing corporate or social structure already in place. A department's manager is still the manager, regardless of "on wiki" or in the cubicle.
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Kelly Martin
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:58pm
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QUOTE(gomi @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:17pm) *

In my view, there are several aspects of both Wikipedia and Wikis in general that make them more difficult places to form organized, lasting online communities.

Wikipedia's insistence on continuing the charade of non-hierarchy and consensus decision-making is one key distinguishing characteristic. This silly idea, which sometimes (accidentally) works for very small communities, has utterly failed at WP. In the absence of a designed hierarchy, an ad hoc one has formed, of editing IPs, logged-in editors, and administrators, and then a hierarchy of administrators, with various factions, cabals, the ArbCom, bureaucrats, rollbackers, and whatnot running around. You yourself have eloquently pointed out how the whole "!vote" (not-vote) process that pretends to be consensus hamstrings Wikipedia and could be changed.

Wikis as a class lack the tools to implement a meaningful social structure that would allow for some form of governance, and while one could theoretically overlay that model, I have not seen it happen. In the absence of something deliberate, you get a mob and warlords, as we have now on WP.
The key failing that allowed Wikipedia to reach the state it's in now was the lack of meaningful governance as it grew. This tends to happen in any human activity which has a relatively low barrier to entry (and really, Wikipedia's barrier to entry is really quite low, you just need to have access to a computer, and those are widely available these days). The naively idealistic refusal by Wikipedia's past leadership (mainly, Jimbo Wales, although there are others responsible as well) to recognize that the community would need structure as it grew in order to avoid rule by warlord led to, well, rule by warlord, or, to borrow a phrase from my former friend, James Forrester (who I hope some day will abandon the Koolaid), a dystopic ochlocracy. Wikipedia has no hierarchy of power; rather, it has competing interest groups (mobs) which clash against one another constantly, forming loose coalitions from time to time but none with any real commitment to anything except their own power group, united by some particular motivation which probably only tangentially has anything to do with Wikipedia's stated goals. There may be hierarchies within these groups, but any global hierarchy is shortlived at best. The oft-stated "hierarchy" of anons, logged-in, administrator, b/crat etc. is such a grotesque simplification of the complex power dynamics that it should not be mentioned except to dismiss it in the same breath.

The fault here is not wikis. It is possible to have useful, managed social structures in a wiki, just as it is possible to have a dystopic ochlocracy in a message board or in USENET. In fact, many of the technical tools needed to help combat the drift toward mob rule already exist and are even available for MediaWiki; there's a huge catalog of extensions for MediaWiki that Wikipedia does not use, many of them developed by other intentional communities to help manage their own community wikis. Wikipedia simply refuses to avail themselves of them. The big one, of course, is to heavily restrict or flatly prohibit editing by anonymous editors.

Wikipedia's experience is by no means unique to wikis, or even to the Internet. Many an intentional community has gone the same way. Wikipedia is simply one of the largest and most visible to do so in recent years. To the degree that Wikipedia's wikiality has accelerated the process, I think that's really just a consequence of being on the Internet, and the concomitant lack of face-to-face interaction that tends to temper some of humanity's worst failings in more traditional intentional communities.

Forming organized, long-lasting communities is hard. Forming them online is even harder. There are some nasty knife-edge balances to be walked and very few groups have navigated them successfully for very long. Wikipedia fell off the teeter-totter a long time ago.

This post has been edited by Kelly Martin: Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:59pm
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Disillusioned Lackey
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 6:21pm
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Wow. Kelly-speak!

Welcome Kelly. Well said, as usual.

QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 11:35am) *

Indeed, they're instead intrinsic features of any large, unmanaged Internet community. Wikipedia exhibits most of the same failings as virtually all other large distance-mediated communities that have come before it. Of course, Wikipedia insists that they're sui generis, and therefore don't have to pay attention to anything that came before. Oops.

That's also known as "revinventing the wheel" which always ends up with "reliving all the wheel revision history errors".

I've been on quite a few online communities, and never, ever have I seen such abuse as Wikipedia exhibits. Much of what is acceptable SOP torment on Wikipedia would merit - on any other social networking site, or chat board - a call to the chat board hosting company and a boot for the miscreant.

As for a serious academic production - well, such things just don't happen in those, or rarely so.

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Kelly Martin
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 6:49pm
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QUOTE(Disillusioned Lackey @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 6:21pm) *

I've been on quite a few online communities, and never, ever have I seen such abuse as Wikipedia exhibits. Much of what is acceptable SOP torment on Wikipedia would merit - on any other social networking site, or chat board - a call to the chat board hosting company and a boot for the miscreant.
This happens mainly because Jimmy believes that Wikimedia is immune from suit, and doesn't have any reason to fear bad press (in fact, he seems to relish in it). Most other site operators show enough concern for either legal or PR consequences of grossly abusive behavior as to put a stop to it to protect their bottom line, or simply out of a concern for general human decency (another virtue Wikipedia seems quite lacking in).
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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 6:52pm
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Well, we've all heard the Out Of Control Competing Clique Theory of Wikipediocy (WP:O²C³T), also known as the It's Just Chinatown, er, Chicago, er, DaWeb Theory, so many times before. It is of course the pet theory of such blissfully clueless lights as DT and √ology.

Indeed, though it pains me to confess it, it's a theory that I myself believed, more or less, until the Summer or Fall of 2006.

But, Cheez Wiz, People, I do hope that some of us, at least, have learned a little better than that by now.

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Moulton
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 8:33pm
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 1:58pm) *
The key failing that allowed Wikipedia to reach the state it's in now was the lack of meaningful governance as it grew. This tends to happen in any human activity which has a relatively low barrier to entry (and really, Wikipedia's barrier to entry is really quite low, you just need to have access to a computer, and those are widely available these days). The naively idealistic refusal by Wikipedia's past leadership (mainly, Jimbo Wales, although there are others responsible as well) to recognize that the community would need structure as it grew in order to avoid rule by warlord led to, well, rule by warlord, or, to borrow a phrase from my former friend, James Forrester (who I hope some day will abandon the Koolaid), a dystopic ochlocracy.

Thank you for introducing that term into my vocabulary, Kelly.

QUOTE(Kelly Martin)
Wikipedia has no hierarchy of power; rather, it has competing interest groups (mobs) which clash against one another constantly, forming loose coalitions from time to time but none with any real commitment to anything except their own power group, united by some particular motivation which probably only tangentially has anything to do with Wikipedia's stated goals. There may be hierarchies within these groups, but any global hierarchy is shortlived at best. The oft-stated "hierarchy" of anons, logged-in, administrator, b/crat etc. is such a grotesque simplification of the complex power dynamics that it should not be mentioned except to dismiss it in the same breath.

So it's not just an ochlocracy, it's an ad hoc ochlocracy.

QUOTE(Kelly Martin)
The fault here is not wikis. It is possible to have useful, managed social structures in a wiki, just as it is possible to have a dystopic ochlocracy in a message board or in USENET. In fact, many of the technical tools needed to help combat the drift toward mob rule already exist and are even available for MediaWiki; there's a huge catalog of extensions for MediaWiki that Wikipedia does not use, many of them developed by other intentional communities to help manage their own community wikis. Wikipedia simply refuses to avail themselves of them. The big one, of course, is to heavily restrict or flatly prohibit editing by anonymous editors.

Intentional communities are built on trust. When those in ad hoc ochlocrical power are anonymous cowards to boot, you've got something that is truly unspeakable.

QUOTE(Kelly Martin)
Forming organized, long-lasting communities is hard. Forming them online is even harder. There are some nasty knife-edge balances to be walked and very few groups have navigated them successfully for very long. Wikipedia fell off the teeter-totter a long time ago.

There are some useful guidelines for community building that we discovered back in the 90s with some of the first online intentional learning communities that took the next step beyond IRC and UseNet NewsGroups.
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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 23rd June 2008, 8:52pm
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 1:58pm) *

QUOTE(gomi @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:17pm) *

In my view, there are several aspects of both Wikipedia and Wikis in general that make them more difficult places to form organized, lasting online communities.

Wikipedia's insistence on continuing the charade of non-hierarchy and consensus decision-making is one key distinguishing characteristic. This silly idea, which sometimes (accidentally) works for very small communities, has utterly failed at WP. In the absence of a designed hierarchy, an ad hoc one has formed, of editing IPs, logged-in editors, and administrators, and then a hierarchy of administrators, with various factions, cabals, the ArbCom, bureaucrats, rollbackers, and whatnot running around. You yourself have eloquently pointed out how the whole "!vote" (not-vote) process that pretends to be consensus hamstrings Wikipedia and could be changed.

Wikis as a class lack the tools to implement a meaningful social structure that would allow for some form of governance, and while one could theoretically overlay that model, I have not seen it happen. In the absence of something deliberate, you get a mob and warlords, as we have now on WP.


The key failing that allowed Wikipedia to reach the state it's in now was the lack of meaningful governance as it grew. This tends to happen in any human activity which has a relatively low barrier to entry (and really, Wikipedia's barrier to entry is really quite low, you just need to have access to a computer, and those are widely available these days). The naively idealistic refusal by Wikipedia's past leadership (mainly, Jimbo Wales, although there are others responsible as well) to recognize that the community would need structure as it grew in order to avoid rule by warlord led to, well, rule by warlord, or, to borrow a phrase from my former friend, James Forrester (who I hope some day will abandon the Koolaid), a dystopic ochlocracy. Wikipedia has no hierarchy of power; rather, it has competing interest groups (mobs) which clash against one another constantly, forming loose coalitions from time to time but none with any real commitment to anything except their own power group, united by some particular motivation which probably only tangentially has anything to do with Wikipedia's stated goals. There may be hierarchies within these groups, but any global hierarchy is shortlived at best. The oft-stated "hierarchy" of anons, logged-in, administrator, b/crat etc. is such a grotesque simplification of the complex power dynamics that it should not be mentioned except to dismiss it in the same breath.

The fault here is not wikis. It is possible to have useful, managed social structures in a wiki, just as it is possible to have a dystopic ochlocracy in a message board or in USENET. In fact, many of the technical tools needed to help combat the drift toward mob rule already exist and are even available for MediaWiki; there's a huge catalog of extensions for MediaWiki that Wikipedia does not use, many of them developed by other intentional communities to help manage their own community wikis. Wikipedia simply refuses to avail themselves of them. The big one, of course, is to heavily restrict or flatly prohibit editing by anonymous editors.

Wikipedia's experience is by no means unique to wikis, or even to the Internet. Many an intentional community has gone the same way. Wikipedia is simply one of the largest and most visible to do so in recent years. To the degree that Wikipedia's wikiality has accelerated the process, I think that's really just a consequence of being on the Internet, and the concomitant lack of face-to-face interaction that tends to temper some of humanity's worst failings in more traditional intentional communities.

Forming organized, long-lasting communities is hard. Forming them online is even harder. There are some nasty knife-edge balances to be walked and very few groups have navigated them successfully for very long. Wikipedia fell off the teeter-totter a long time ago.


Cf. Unintended Consequences Of The Community Metaphor.

The "key failing" of Wikipedia — as an e-spousedly knowledge-oriented project — is that it's so overrun by people whose Need For Hugs exceeds their Need To Know.

Jon cool.gif

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Milton Roe
post Wed 25th June 2008, 8:26am
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:14pm) *

QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 1:08pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:00pm) *

The Intrinsic Features that permit the abuses in question are integral to the wiki paradigm — it is only that well-disciplined communities of interest seldom abuse the powers afforded by these features.


Blah. Only as you can say the same about all writing, personal publishing, and use of computers in general. There's nothing special about Wikis. They're just multi-user message boards and collaborative writing work records, with better record keeping about what is done to them and when. And who does it, if you choose to set them up that way. WP doesn't, but that's not the fault of the mechanism itself. In theory we could (for example) completely cease to pay attention to driver licenses and ID for drivers, and have automobiles with interchangable or missing license plates. The result would be chaos, but not the fault of the automobile itself, as transportation invention, per se. Don't blame Wikis.


Er … Do you even know the defining features of the wiki software paradigm?

Why don't you think about this for a while.

Jon cool.gif


In fact I do. And also know that these features form a kernal which can be modified with as many layers of responsiblity, security, and editorial review as you like, and still be a collection of wiki pages (or, if you like, a wiki). Wikis are speeded up methods for collaborative writing on a computer using internet connection between users, is all. They don't do anything a collections of typewriters, secretaries, photocopiers, and the US postal service couldn't do. Ala(n) Turing, all they are, is faster.

If you're going to argue that there are special pathologies to be watched for in any collaborative activity of human beings, even fully documented and identified and watched human beings, fine. But again, don't blame wikis for it. If such there are, wikis have nothing to do with it. These things would exist without wikis. With faster cooperation would you get more rapid pathologies associated with cooperative thinking? Sure. And all the positive things, too. If you believe cooperative activity itself contains more positives than negatives, you'll approve of any system which speeds it up. And if not, I think you're arguing against civilization. On the internet, LOL.

Now, if you still think you have a point, I want to to tell me EXACTLY what feature you think DEFINES the wiki paradigm, in a sine qua non fashion, and which specially contributes some kind of social problem to it.

M.

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post Wed 25th June 2008, 9:03am
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QUOTE(Moulton @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 8:33pm) *

There are some useful guidelines for community building that we discovered back in the 90s with some of the first online intentional learning communities that took the next step beyond IRC and UseNet NewsGroups.


Yes, Moulton, your history with musenet obviously gives you "expert status" in terms of discussing the phenomenon of this type of community dynamic....and I myself can't help wondering if it wasn't one of the contributing factors to the decision to "run you out of town on a rail"....

If I were running a service like WP, and found that I had a volunteer with this type of experience, I myself would have tried to get this type of person involved resolving issues that had come up with the Musenet project, especially those concerning children. But, since WP denies that anything out of the past has value, perhaps this type of credential simply had to be expelled from the system in order to allow the koolaid drinkers to continue to have all of that delicious fresh taste?

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post Wed 25th June 2008, 10:43am
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Anna Duval Smith, known as MacDuff on MicroMuse, has been with the project since September 1993; she joined MicroMuse when the project was 3 1/2 years old.

In real life she hast taught arbitration, mediation, and conflict resolution since 1991 at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, and makes her living as a practicing arbitrator, primarily in labor disputes.

Shortly after joining MicroMuse, MacDuff assumed the role of Mediator, chairing the committee that handled both interpersonal conflicts and disciplinary cases involving breaches of the MicroMuse Social Contract.

In other words, MacDuff is to MicroMuse as ArbCom is to Wikipedia.

Her primary professional research interest is conflict in organizations. This has stimulated investigations into such real-world topics as industrial democracy, labor law reform proposals, deunionization, and fair share fee law and practices. Since joining MicroMuse in 1993, she has also been studying conflict in virtual communities.

In 1997, Anna Duval Smith published Problems of Conflict Management in Virtual Communities which subsequently appeared as Chapter 6 in Communities in Cyberspace, edited by Peter Kollock and Marc Smith, and published by Routledge Press in 1998.

Here is the Abstract of that paper:

QUOTE(Abstract)



This paper explores the sources of conflict and techniques of social control in an open-access, text-based virtual community. It argues that such social systems have the same kinds of opportunities and problems brought by diversity that real communities do, but that unique features of cyberspace make effective conflict management both more important and more difficult. Cases of interpersonal disputes collected during more than two years of participant observation revealed that power strategies of social control were generally counterproductive in managing the conflict that resulted from the multiplicity of values, goals, interests and cultural norms brought by members of the community. As in real life, methods that reconcile divergent interests (mediation and factfinding) and adjudicate rights (factfinding and arbitration) appeared to manage issue-based conflicts more effectively. However, their utility and, therefore, the community's ability to adapt and thrive as an open, goal-directed system depends on member awareness of the program, human resource availability and administration willingness to share power.
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Disillusioned Lackey
post Wed 25th June 2008, 7:59pm
Post #19


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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 1:49pm) *

Most other site operators show enough concern for either legal or PR consequences of grossly abusive behavior as to put a stop to it to protect their bottom line, or simply out of a concern for general human decency (another virtue Wikipedia seems quite lacking in).

Most are on the human decency side. Ive seen a major corporation-owned chat board come down hard on someone who outed names (my but compared to Wikipedia that seems like such a small thing, but to us, it was a huge event).

On the other hand, I was a near victim in an Ebay fraud in 2001 or 2002, and was helping to organize the victims to report to (yes, the irony) the FBI, and I had friends who were early hires at the company, so I had them get me the Chairman's office assistants contact details... the response (at least from the assistant was...) "this is not our problem". He was really young. I tried to explain about press, falling stock prices, but um, um.... Then within the next year, I saw on MSNBC, that they got nailed by another case, and suddenly they were all about the anti-fraud. smile.gif

Jimbo plays a different game of parchesi. cool.gif You put it right. He revels in the slippery side, and frankly relishes that other people feel discomfort. If not are downright hurt. huh.gif

QUOTE(Moulton @ Wed 25th June 2008, 5:43am) *

Abstract


This paper explores the sources of conflict and techniques of social control in an open-access, text-based virtual community. ...

Then there's this

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This post has been edited by Disillusioned Lackey: Wed 25th June 2008, 8:00pm
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Jon Awbrey
post Wed 25th June 2008, 8:16pm
Post #20


τὰ δέ μοι παθήματα μαθήματα γέγονε
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Wed 25th June 2008, 4:26am) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:14pm) *

QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 1:08pm) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Mon 23rd June 2008, 5:00pm) *

The Intrinsic Features that permit the abuses in question are integral to the wiki paradigm — it is only that well-disciplined communities of interest seldom abuse the powers afforded by these features.


Blah. Only as you can say the same about all writing, personal publishing, and use of computers in general. There's nothing special about Wikis. They're just multi-user message boards and collaborative writing work records, with better record keeping about what is done to them and when. And who does it, if you choose to set them up that way. WP doesn't, but that's not the fault of the mechanism itself. In theory we could (for example) completely cease to pay attention to driver licenses and ID for drivers, and have automobiles with interchangable or missing license plates. The result would be chaos, but not the fault of the automobile itself, as transportation invention, per se. Don't blame Wikis.


Er … Do you even know the defining features of the wiki software paradigm?

Why don't you think about this for a while.

Jon cool.gif


In fact I do. And also know that these features form a kernal which can be modified with as many layers of responsiblity, security, and editorial review as you like, and still be a collection of wiki pages (or, if you like, a wiki). Wikis are speeded up methods for collaborative writing on a computer using internet connection between users, is all. They don't do anything a collections of typewriters, secretaries, photocopiers, and the US postal service couldn't do. Ala(n) Turing, all they are, is faster.

If you're going to argue that there are special pathologies to be watched for in any collaborative activity of human beings, even fully documented and identified and watched human beings, fine. But again, don't blame wikis for it. If such there are, wikis have nothing to do with it. These things would exist without wikis. With faster cooperation would you get more rapid pathologies associated with cooperative thinking? Sure. And all the positive things, too. If you believe cooperative activity itself contains more positives than negatives, you'll approve of any system which speeds it up. And if not, I think you're arguing against civilization. On the internet, LOL.

Now, if you still think you have a point, I want to to tell me EXACTLY what feature you think DEFINES the wiki paradigm, in a sine qua non fashion, and which specially contributes some kind of social problem to it.

M.


Let's say you publish an article in a scholarly journal and some other scholar disagrees with your conclusions. What does he do? He writes another article criticizing your arguments and methods and so on and tries to argue for his own point of view.

That is the normal way of doing things. It's incremental and monotone — at least, so far as the historical record goes.

Wikis are very different from that. The present state of the Virtual Record is evanescent to the max. In the wiki paradigm as initially conceived the indelible recording of every edit was intended to compensate for that transience of the Evanescent Present, but Wikipedia's increasing use of history-erasing and history-rewriting has removed even that littlest bit of a safety net.

Employed by a pre-existing community that observes a pre-existing discipline, the delibility of the current draft on the magic slate can be a useful feature. But delibility of the historical record is a debilitating bug no matter how carefully one tries to control it.

Employed by Wikipediots, the distinctive features of the wiki paradigm are nothing but a quicker road to wikiperdition.

Jon cool.gif

This post has been edited by Jon Awbrey: Wed 25th June 2008, 8:28pm
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