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A wiki (or any community) is started with a mission (GoalStatement, SuperordinateGoal). People come together, build a community, and work towards the common goal. Then the goal is reached - at least 95% of it - so there isn't much left to do. The community lives and wants to live on, but focus has been lost and SignalToNoise starts hurting.


Alternate name: RunningOutOfSteam?

TargetReached can also happen at a personal level, even if it isn't happening to the community as a whole. Someone might join a community with the intent of contributing their thoughts, ideas, or knowledge, but might eventually discover that, after contributing for a while, s/he has nothing else to contribute. When this happens, s/he can do one or more of the following:

Or you could just FishBowl the wiki. -- Does to FishBowl the wiki mean making it read-only?

I wonder if growth is proportional to the amount that's already been done (hence exponential at the beginning), but also proportional to the amount left to be done. In which case, for the fastest growth, make your mission statement (eg) "write a complete guide to life, the universe, and everything". For slower growth, (LimitGrowth ??) have small goals (eg) "discuss the life of Angina Millet". --MartinHarper

I've never seen this firsthand. But I think WikiEmigration is the correct solution for wikis. Just set up a second wiki for the same community to do other stuff. That way the noise won't contaminate the old, 95% "perfect" PageDatabase. -- BayleShanks

Why is WikiEmigration the way to go? A goal in a wiki is like a project in a corporation. Do you close down a corporation when a project is finished or a product is running dead? Typically systems try to stay alive. -- HelmutLeitner

A wiki is to a community as a project is to a corporation. TheCollective is mobile. --MartinHarper

Are there examples of a reached target? It seems to me that the goal of an OnlineCommunity would have to be extremely well-defined and finite if it can actually be attained. I'm thinking of some of the purposes I've seen wiki put to, and I can't think of one that's really attainable in that way. A KnowledgeRepository? will usually need to track real-world changes in the field of knowledge it's covering. A ChatterBox, if there's something worth talking about, would need to continue to accept and integrate new members, as new people get involved with the topic. Even a WebLog or a HomePage changes with the person who owns and maintains it.

The "Living Platform" was (IIUC) originally launched by the Green Party of Canada to develop a platform for the 2004 Canadian federal election. It has since become something slightly different, but I understand it had growing pains. Wiki:GreenPartyWiki

I guess a KnowledgeRepository? with an extremely tight focus -- say, documenting a particular release of some software, or a specific historical period -- might get "done". And there could be absurdist goals, like having a single page with the letter "a" on it. (Actually, that could be a fun wiki... There's a good game called "Calcutta" where you go around the room and each person says a word. The first person to say "Calcutta" loses. Surprisingly good time.) But, I dunno. Like the poet said, "A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a Heaven for?" --EvanProdromou

Happening (as in the social phenomenon from c.2001) wikis end pretty quickly because they are based around a small time frame. On a similar vein, Bayle's notes from http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~bshanks/cmu.pl. That's probably too narrow for you, though.

MuWebWeb, perhaps, but Tom is still kicking at it. OrgPatterns??

Maybe the problem is that after the wiki has reached its target, its critical writers (the top sqrt(N) of the writers) lose interest and leave. The server is still open though. So either randomly a vandal will come by and trash it (e.g. MuWebWeb), or the audience "half" (N - sqrt(N)) of the community is suddenly handed the keys to the family van, and they take it for a drunk bender into the lake (e.g. WikiWiki). Politically there isn't much to do. This is why it's important to grow new leaders and avoid the CultOfPersonality? as it is, in fact, the plague. -- SunirShah

I bet that the target does not technically have to be reached for "TargetReached" to occur; compare to the design of mechanical clocks; I'm sure this was a hot topic about scientific/engineering folks in the old days, but now-a-days most folks have moved onto to other stuff. We haven't designed the perfect mechanical clock; but we've gotten close enough that other activites now seem more interesting/pressing. If there were a "mechanical clock design" wiki hundreds of years ago (work with me now), it would have been an active, busy place with many of the best and brightest minds, including famous physicists, etc. Now, it would still have members and some activity, and some bright people, but probably would not attract as many of the top minds in the world. -- BayleShanks


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