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NewFormsFestival Wiki on Wiki in conjunction with [VideoIn] and [NewFormsFestival 2003]: inter[sec/ac]tion

The evolution of this page will itself determine the key points for an open discussion about the conceptual, ethical, and creative issues that arise from the wiki form and process, to take place Thursday, July 31 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Note, I will rename this page to NewFormsFestival, and add a sufficient description of the festival at the top. Looks quite interesting. Wish I was there. Take care folks. -- SunirShah

Online communities continually reinvent themselves, both in form and content. In this latest incarnation, some have likened the anarchic approach as a transition from a 'sea of information' to 'information mud'.

Due to the somewhat revolutionary instability of this emerging method of community, meta-discussions on the etiquette, technical deployment, pros and cons of the Wiki are ubiquitous. WhyWikiWorks and Wiki:WhyWikiWorksNot is explored in great detail, and dissent is to be found both on and Wiki:OffTopic, where the battle cry can be heard: Wiki:MySignalIsYourNoise.

(thanks for the link corrections...I couldn't figure those out!) (one thing, however...i did put all those dangling links in on purpose...I may throw them back in again later...i thought it was an acceptable thing to do --H.E.)

One wonders, why must there be clarity to this voice..."which is not one"? (Irigaray) Is a desire for discord a feminized terrain? (Unable to escape the naming/placing game, reluctant to commandeer it?)

Cultural artifacts, both tangible and intangible, tend to manifest somewhere in between human determination and lethargy, between revolution and submission. The societal domain is one governed more by unspoken laws rather than written constitutions.

In a network society, marginalized activites such as art and activism seem to re-emerge, not based on group identity, but instead as anonymously individual and grounded in the ways in which we understand ourselves to intersect with the political and social economic realities of our situation.

Here we explore the possibilities and pitfalls of collaborative digital idea formation and piecemeal discourse. Not a collective statement, but a collected statement. An aggregate of intentions and articulations meant to conflict and cooperate.

Is a desire for discord a feminized terrain?

I'm sorry. I don't understand what you mean by that. How can a desire be a terrain? What do you mean by "feminized"? -- SunirShah

The way in which desire takes shape, built up through sedimentation, is carved into or carefully circumvented, provides for a 'terrain' which can be traversed topographically.....uh, psychologically speaking.

And if the 'feminine' is typically associated with all that is irrational, chaotic, impetuous, 'natural', etc etc, than what can that mean when wikizens clamor for order and security? I don't mean to imply that I know the answer... just curious to see it discussed. -- HeatherEmery

The problem with the terms 'feminine' and 'masculin' is that their connotations shift with time, context, and perspective. Contrast the old rhyme saying that boys come from puppy dog tails and girls from everything nice. Then again, oddly enough, some have thought wikis were a more 'feminine' medium because we tend to be more cooperative, collaborative, and supportive, and have expressed dismay that this wasn't the case (cf. Wiki:GirlsDontWiki) Casually speaking, I surmise that blogs appeal to today's woman's (the post-feminist) general concern for voice and style. Tomorrow's woman may be different. And man. And transgendered. -- SunirShah

It's important to note that wikis don't imprint too much architecture onto the author or authors. Most of the controls are CommunitySolutions rather than TechnologySolutions, meaning that what can be written on a wiki is rather flexible. We have seen many extremes, such as personal journals, WikiPedia, experimental hyperfiction, chatting, and our own strongly edited (but lazily organized) MeatballWiki.

Also, because the controls are social, they aren't necessarily anarchic. We have seen a number of different social organizations, and that once again is a reflection of the people working on them. Certainly wikis used for companies' internal communications reflect the companies' internal organization. Wikis used for schools reflect the classroom hierarchy. MeatballWiki is more liberalist than anarchic.

Finally, wikis to date haven't been revolutionist, but collaborative and constructive. The wiki community is very vibrant, although the recent attention paid to it by the blog world continues to miss this. -- SunirShah

Of course. Anarchy has two opposite connotations: terror and chaos - or - harmony and self-organization ... in labelling wiki as taking an anarchic approach, I mean to connote the latter! -- HeatherEmery

I just look at anarchy as meaning unstructured. That means that whomever organized the fastest gets to set the tone. If that person is a good person, it will be good. If that person is bad, it will be bad. While most people in the world are good, it's easier to destroy than to build, so it takes much more effort to maintain a stable society than the effort necessary to unmake it. Consequently, societies move towards structure and containment. Anarchies move in the opposite direction of human nature, and therefore they do not last very long. Only long enough for the power vacuum to be filled.

More troubling, wikis have a tendency to become quickly disorganized without a lot of social structure and a sense of duty. Maintaining order is one of the GreatChallengesToWikis. Consider how much editing of this page I've already done, and why we offer a StyleGuide. Sadly, people do not automatically do the responsible thing unless led into it. Fortunately, there are altruistic leaders to get the ball rolling. Then most are happy to do their part. -- SunirShah

As more wiki clones come out, I think we will start to see a seperation of wiki from HTTP and from text. Allready some wikis allow for file-uploading. What about collaborative wiki art? Imagine being able to edit an image in GIMP or Photoshop, and post it to the wiki, and having someone else edit it. Not only would this make sence in say a graphic design house, but some really interesting art could be done. Of corse, this could also be done with music, code, or any relatively open file format. Sure there is power in plain text, but sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. (and really, a 4K picture isn't all that big) -- Wiki:JonathanArkell

This already has happened at WikiPedia to a certain extent with our various logo design efforts, the latest of which is taking place at MetaWikiPedia:International_logo_contest. -- StephenGilbert


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