Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

RE: [Rabbits] Straw Poll: Wiki Attendance Frequency

  • From"Rick Castello" <rick@xxxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 27 Aug 2007 14:48:48 -0700 (PDT)
On Mon, August 27, 2007 12:58 pm, David Artman wrote:
> Glad to hear from everyone; though sad to see it's mainly "nope, don't
> care"--I didn't expect that!

     To be honest, for me it isn't a "don't care", it's an "okay I looked,
     but didn't see anything that gave me the impression that it was new
     or of particularly compelling interest".

     This is not meant as a dig at all, just an honest answer to your

> Regarding this point:
>> From: "Christopher Hickman" <tophu@xxxxxxx>
>> ... The thing is with a wiki is just do it.  If the community
>> consensus is that it should be done a different way, then someone in said
>> community will do it.
> See, I don't think that's a strong way to manage our wiki at all. We're
> not wikipedia; we're a close community of friends and fans of the
> Looneys. Further, "someone in said community will do it [differently]"
> is nothing like a "consensus": rather, it's GUI-of-the-week management,
> where anyone and everyone might restructure the site navigation, main
> page, or scheduling techniques (or naming conventions or organizing
> principles or templates, etc, etc...).

     I agree with you.  Having spent quite a lot of time working on a
     comprehensive wiki for an open-source project in the past, I agree
     that there needs to be some sort of designated STRUCTURE as well as
     DIRECTION for the wiki.

     A wiki is, by nature, an organic sort of tool, which can lead to some
     great stuff getting added... but in my opinion and past experience,
     if it doesn't at least have some sort of easily evident organization,
     most people won't take the time to get in and do anything with it.

     In the past, the wikis I have seen that are the most successful at
     growing, encouraging contribution from others, and becoming a part of
     a thriving online community and knowledgebase all have:

     * One or two people with whom the ultimate responsibility lies for
       everyday decisions, but a group of admins/editors who help make
       larger decisions on direction, etc.

     * Clear and evident description of "What goes where?", "How can I
       contribute?", and "What this wiki is for"

     * A site design that relies on a handful of "sections" of the wiki,
       just like a regular website, making it easy to navigate and use

     The 2nd and third points are similar, but speak separately to users
     vs. contributors of the wiki, and it's important to keep BOTH in mind
     always... if the only users of the wiki are the editors, it's still
     a useful thing, but probably not helping as many people as it could.

     The first bit about having an admin/uberadmin set up may sound like
     it goes against a "free and easy" Looney sort of site, but even LL
     has places where final decision rests, and usually their last names
     match the name of the company.

     If you don't want to always be having argu^M^M^M^Mdiscussions about
     every little old thing, you have to give someone (or someones) the
     ability to just say, "we're going to do it this way - if it fails,
     we can change it later" or you'll end up stuck in "paralsyis by
     analysis" (clue: contains the word anal).

     Just my 3.14159 cents.