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According to one model, an online discussion should start with an opening statement or document which sets out some piece of wisdom. This provides the subject for discourse for the discussion. It is a bit like going to see a movie on a first date. The movie gives you something to talk about if you can't think what to say next. Conversations need something to get them going.

In SlashDot, the opening statement cannot be changed. In Wiki, the discussion can lead to the original statement being refined and improved. Thus Wiki conversations can be more constructive than SlashDot ones. See BarnRaising.

SlashDot provides tiers of influence instead of egality. Wiki is almost a meritocracy except the site administrators have more power (obviously). But all in all, it's all for one and one for all. That makes it fun.


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