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Chaos as a problem

Wikis are said to be chaotic, as they often end up being. One reason this might be natural is because order (as a state of low entropy) needs an external force, while disorder develops without any other influences besides itself. However, visitors and readers find wikis hard to access - so it is desirable to increase order in a wiki in order to make it more valuable. Hence why this page exists - to collect knowledge about systems of order in wikis to find a better way to make wikis more accessable to wiki users across the globe.

Why there is so little order

There are many reasons why order on a wiki may be scarce. Order is work, which requires something to enforce that order. Order needs refactoring, which is hard, and when done incorrectly may lead to conflicts. Order needs knowledge, which may not exist. However, the more prevelant reason is that order in a wiki is also connected to a certain worldview or way of thinking, and thus creates problems in a NPOV open community. Even simple and neutral order systems, like e. g. categories, often create heated arguments.

Benifits of chaos

Order isn't entirely positive. A perfectly ordered system may be nice for readers but it sometimes repells participation. Missing links beg for a page to be created. Bad arguments need counter arguments. Open questions beckon for an answer. Chaotic pages demand refactoring. Therefore, imperfection may be needed for the community to live, and in the end a balance of order and chaos is probably desirable.

basic (generating) questions

elements of order at the page level

elements of order at the wiki level

elements of order at the inter wiki level

abstract elements of order (all levels)



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