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"The wiki environment facilitates [Internet] collaboration."

See for a tabular form to expand the idea : http://www.dpo.uab.edu/~raygan/inet-collab/IntCollab_Raygan.html

I don't see what the reference - stating basic wiki features and listing engines - has to do with the topic of this page. Perhaps the content did change? -- HelmutLeitner


a number of people traverse the same space, most with some degree of shared values, making changes where they happen to see the opportunity while they go about their business (see stigmergy)

a number of people get together with a specific mission in mind. See BarnRaising.

I would prefer PlannedCollaboration? (e. g. contributors in a topical wiki). -- HelmutLeitner

something in between, best represented by CategoryToDo and other explicit guide posts. [if introduced too soon into the community it smothers it with the formality, if introduced too late the community smothers itself in its own mess/noise]

people are forced to interact with one another due to the architecture of the system. the above forms suggest a single emergent/planned dimension, to which this form is orthogonal - that is, in all three forms could be forced, or not

I would prefer StructuralCollaboration? (e. g. farmers in a village, pupils in a class). -- HelmutLeitner

The sum of many collaboratation over time leads to certain forms of collaborations that are understood and reused. (e. g. language, forms of economy like money or stock exchange, forms of governments and organizations)


What are the forces involved, and how may they be balanced?


What are the manifestations, and how may they be classified?

see discussion below

Contributors: EricScheid, SunirShah, AlexSchroeder


[discussion moved from CollaborationBooster]

Is it just me, or is there a prevailing attitude/CommunityExpectation that wiki collaboration is an accidental/opportunistic event, and not a deliberate/directed thing? Both are valid, I believe, and although both having scaling problems they are probably BalancingForces.

If the community doesn't include CoordinatedCollaboration?, instead relying on AccidentalCollaboration, there are unpleasant side effects once the community grows.

It is the prevailing attitude because it's the attitude of WikiWiki. Certainly IncidentalCollaboration is vital to any wiki. However, it doesn't have to be the only method of collaborating. Certainly we have BarnRaising events here on MeatballWiki on occasion and that works well for us. Interestingly, CoordinatedCollaboration? can also have negative consequences, such as CoordinatedAttack?s. Or even soured efforts. See Wiki:WikiReductionists for an example when a coordinated group of people sought to impose their perspective on the community and failed. -- SunirShah

I'm refining my thinking then ... not CoordinatedCollaboration? but instead GuidedCollaboration?. -- EricScheid

I have actually not seen much accidental collaboration on the wikis I frequent. Certainly while I contribute, collaboration is never accidental. On the contrary. I open two browsers, edit a page in one window and search for related pages in the second window. This allows me to link to existing pages. AccidentalLinking doesn't work for me -- I don't trust it. I even searched for "accidental link" before writing "AccidentalLinking!"

Therefore I conclude that the LinkPattern doesn't contribute to accidental collaboration. It's just an element of the TextFormattingRules used to link to other pages on the wiki.

Furthermore, I conclude that it is very important to create a good infrastructure when you start a new wiki. The Emacs Wiki is a good example, I hope: Starting from the [main page], you are lead to a table of contents. Reading the first paragraphs introduces the most important help pages. The howto-page explains how to add your name to the list of homepages. The table of contents is based on categories; categories and site map are not orthogonal. This introduces the wiki and establishes community expectations, style and categorization. Basically, it establishes how collaboration will work.

Note that collaboration is not coordinated using explicit information such as BarnRaising events. Collaboration is not accidental such as depending on AccidentalLinking and ad hoc categories. Collaboration is encouraged via community expectations. The tricky thing is to communicate these to newbies such as to make NoRespectForHistory impossible.

GuidedCollaboration? seems to be a good term for that. -- AlexSchroeder

Perhaps your experience is a facet of the way you think. Certainly many people will not find the accidental virtues of wiki as they are driven and organized thinkers. For myself, I have to say that I have experienced the accidental nature of wiki many times. I am anything but an organized thinker. (I am an organized problem solver, but that's like work, man.) This is why people bring up Wiki:TheProgrammersStone's distinction between mappers and packers when referring to those who don't get wiki. -- SunirShah

classifying the manifestations

Excellent - we don't all agree on the definitions (yet).

A little exercise: name a wiki thing and classify as to which form of collaboration it encourages the most [moved to document mode at top] ... if you disagree with a classification, make the change and explain. Certainly add more as you think of them, even if you're unsure which classification (sure way to spark debate ;-)

-- EricScheid

Changed RecentChanges to architectural because RecentChanges is a TechnologySolution. It's baked into the script and it involves no human intervention to make it happen.

Changed StyleGuide to guided because following the style guide is a voluntary thing. It would only be accidental if the newbie pages don't point to the style guide.

However, since the newbie pages do point at the StyleGuide, it's likely the newbies will pick up on the BehaviouralNorms?, and then in their wiki-travels will behave in ways which are, accidentally, collaboration... or maybe I need to go back and read StyleGuide again, in this new light.

Ha ha, "guided towards accidental collaboration?" At some point the distinction doesn't make sense anymore...

You can lead a horse to water ...

Changed RecentChanges back to accidental as it encourages accidental collaboration.

how so? knowing what pages have changed guides attention . . .

"attention", yes, but collaboration? Not necessarily. It causes people to be in the same place at the same time (sort of), and so encourages accidental collaboration ... but there is no call for collaboration in itself, as RecentChanges can lead to all manner of different activity (eg. reading, deleting, flaming, etc)

I put ArchitecturalCollaboration? at the top tentatively for now. I have to think about whether RecentChanges is a means for collaboration or not. Keep in mind its role in SoftSecurity, or the RoleOfRecentChanges in general.

I suggest that the PageDeletion architecture on WardsWiki is architectural in nature. Does that help to define ArchitecturalCollaboration?? -- SuniShah? [?]

No one has tackled the classification of AssumeGoodFaith. I can't see it fitting into any of the four current forms, yet I don't feel confident that it should be ignored. Perhaps there is a fifth form, that of CulturalCollaboration? ... there are other pages that would belong with AssumeGoodFaith in the CulturalCollaboration? category - TrustButVerify, DocumentMode, RealNamesPlease [...]

CulturalCollaboration? is similar in a classification sense as ArchitecturalCollaboration? ... but although ArchitecturalCollaboration? and CulturalCollaboration? feel as if they belong together, they still stand apart from the original three. The original three had to do with scenarios of participant choice, and evidenced with specificity. You could point to a page and say "look, that's GuidedCollaboration?", while with ArchitecturalCollaboration? and CulturalCollaboration? it's a more subtle affair, more diffuse, and affects more pages, and are specifically evidenced via the original three forms. Perhaps ArchitecturalCollaboration? and CulturalCollaboration? are the underlying forces of the forms of collaboration? -- EricScheid

CategoryCollaboration CategoryRoadmap


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