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Help others relate.


Meatball is a BarnRaising community. We help others with their projects in return for them helping us with ours.

"People and People and Computers and People."

Our motto is People and people and computers and people.

Meatball is a LearningCommunity of the leaders of online communities--their proprietors, developers, mentors, and samaritans. We explore what it means to build an online community or, perhaps better, a community online. As it is a community, it is defined solely by the personal relationships that form it. Our breadth of interest is fairly wide as we take a holistic stance to community development. What differentiates us from many online meta-communities is that while we do talk about technology, we spend more time talking about sociology; and when we do talk about technology, we do so in a social context.

Politically, we are biased heavily towards democratic principles, even if we disagree (vehemently) on what those are, which is nice in a way. Consequently, we are also an experiment to see how far we can take SoftSecurity before it breaks. While the simpler aspects of soft security are relatively well understood, we are learning painfully what it means to take these principles through an ever larger community.

Finally, we are PublicArt. We strive to be beautiful. We want to shimmer and make people smile, and we want to do this by attracting and showcasing life.


Here are some keywords to help you sort out the range of ideas we are willing to explore here.

In general, OnlineCulture, OtherHypermedia, communication technology, Internet standards or anything else that is involved in building online communities is on topic. Psychology, sociology, anthropology, business management or any other subject that bears on organizing people is on topic. Political science, economics, journalism or anything that describes the consequences of society is on topic.


MeatballWiki represents in large part a Community of Practice of how to run a wiki according to a very purified and distilled sense of experience from the original wiki, WikiWiki (aka Wiki, capital W), and the wikis that surround it. This is often termed the WikiWay. This does not match with most wiki experiences, but it is a valuable tradition to maintain in order to see what it can do. This also means Meatball does not strive to represent all wikis, just that in the process of exploring online community theory, we frequently study them and write about them. From that, we often form relationships with those involved in wikidom; and as we said above, Meatball is nothing but personal relationships.

For those curious, a simple summary of the WikiWay is playful wisdom.

WebLogs and OtherHypermedia

Meatball as a whole (wider than MeatballWiki) attempts to grapple with the complex issues surrounding all digital and hypermedia. We have several important texts on weblogs here in particular. We have also explored OtherHypermedia and we will be building beautiful things you haven't even dreamt of. We will then break them apart, shake them up, and then figure out where they fit in our lives, if at all. This is the anvil and the horse.


Meatball was founded on a series of core values. They were chosen carefully, and we care deeply about them.


The goal for MeatballWiki is to be a professional guidebook for how to build and manage collaborative hypermedia, comparable to the [Designing Social Interfaces wiki]. For MeatballWiki to be truly useful, eventually, all the text in the wiki will have to conform to this level of quality. As a resource, it would be incredibly useful to have a large corpus of the Right Thing To Do for any given situation as it would dramatically lower the cost of development and experimentation.

See Also

See also StartingPoints, MeatballMissionDiscussion, FirstEmail, StyleGuide.



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