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This page describes another "life situation" of the WikiLifeCycle. Everything is going well and you, as a founder are confident about the future of the community. But, step by step, almost unnoticeable, the amount of discussions decreases. The heat is gone. The wiki is not silent, there is still traffic, there are still users, but there is no substantial community process.

Suddenly some person in the host role finds himself alone, or facing some conflict or newcomers, and the community he was used to and used to rely on, is seemingly gone. The community can return or not.


Currently LionKimbro feels himself in this situation at CommunityWiki. He is in need of helping hands.

This is probably a "life situation pattern" of the WikiPatternLanguage. -- HelmutLeitner

It's hard to remain interesting to others forever. It's important not to get caught up in the admiration of others, because their attentions are so fickle. The key thing is to remain interesting to yourself. If you lose that, you lose everything all at once. If you started the community to accomplish a certain goal that is important to you, keep working on that goal regardless of whether or not others are there applauding you. Or if the goal is no longer important to you, let the community go and move on to what really does excite you now. You'll be a happier person and definitely a more interesting person once again. -- SunirShah

I don't know that it was so much there weren't people who were interested; Rather, that they weren't CommunityMembers, and thus there was an inability to teach, justify, and enforce rules.

It's easy to explain rules to newcomers when teachers outnumber new learners. But when they outnumber you...

There was a crisis: someone with a history of antagonizing the wiki (CommunityLore) was modeling to the newcomers that they didn't have to follow the rules and conventions, and that a "CommunityMember" is a fiction that has no authority.

There were OccasionalContributors, but it's not their obligation or desire to teach newcomers, or to act as PoliceForce, should that be required.

It was just me, standing there, and talking about the "the Community says this," and "CommunityMembers that" and what you can and can't do.

"CommunityWiki:TurnBasedVsInterruptedThreadMode." "Avoid ForestFire, CommunityWiki:DivergingArguments." "Here, let me help you avoid making ShallowPages." "Making new pages isn't really encouraged, for people in the VisitorRole."

Who made these silly rules? "CommunityMembers." Community-whats? What are those strange, mysterious creatures?

I ended up calling AlexSchroeder, who made an appearance. Trouble maker disappeared. But the new people are paralyzed: "Am I going to be breaking a rule?" They don't feel safe to make mistakes. ...and there's no long term solution.

My strategy right now, which may be totally wrong, is to write down the nature of our relationships. The CommunityMembers are absent, but they haven't died. I don't think our relationships have ended. (Though it's a possibility.) They return now and then, and some times stoke big fires.

But this may fail. -- LionKimbro

It's crucial to DefendEachOther against AntiAuthoritarians. That is what makes a cohesive social organization. -- SunirShah

Oh; That's perfect. I hadn't even thought of that. Thank you. -- LionKimbro


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