[Home]WikiDisadvantages

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Moved from WhyWikiWorks:

Wikis work better because they rely on the community, rather than technology, to police itself. If someone comes along and deletes text or posts spam, someone else can just as easily fix the problem. Since an open environment encourages participation and a strong sense of community, the ratio of fixers to breakers tends to be very high, so the wiki stays stable. That too has a cost - a GroupThink usually builds up around the early SelfClaims? that brought the community together.

That isn't a claim of why wiki doesn't work, but a cynical (and libertarian/cryptonautic) belief that society is fundamentally bad. Since we AssumeGoodFaith and DefendAgainstParanoia, I think it's safe to say this opinion is hopeless. The reason we have the concept GroupThink is because sociologists first had to identify the problem before resolving it. In the intervening decades since the term was introduced, let alone the sum total of human history, we have developed methods to break this particular logjam to thinking. Never underestimate mankind's skill at creative growth. -- SunirShah

> That isn't a claim of why wiki doesn't work, but a cynical (and libertarian/cryptonautic) belief that society is fundamentally bad.

Not necessarily. It could simply reflect a belief that human communications technology is bad, or distorts our capacity to cooperate. Marshall McLuhan? said "we shape our tools, and our tools shape us."

> The reason we have the concept GroupThink is because sociologists first had to identify the problem before resolving it. In the intervening decades since the term was introduced, let alone the sum total of human history, we have developed methods to break this particular logjam to thinking.

Methods which you consistently ignore, among them, AnonymousFeedback?, FairOuting, and picking media according to their characteristics rather than assuming that all media can be used equivalently to resolve all issues.

I think it is much too optimistic to assume that GroupThink is mostly a solved problem. To the extent that it has been solved (which, in my opinion, is not much at all), it is one of those things for which the solution is mostly constant vigilance, critical discussion, and never assuming that the problem is solved.

Also, the point that AnonymousFeedback? is one partial antidote to GroupThink is a good one. MeatBall does allow AnonymousFeedback?, though (to the extent that technology and practicality support anonymity without any special effort).

-- BayleShanks


I know that I created this page without any intention to write enough content to make it not a ShallowPage, but I felt it would be nice to provide a space for others to talk about WikiDisadvantages without putting that discussion on WhyWikiWorks (which, being sort of a newcomer's introduction, should be kept relatively uncluttered). -- BayleShanks

Self-realization is the first step to enlightenment. :) Why not wait until the first person that wants to talk about the disadvantages comes along, and let them do it (or edit their words later)? I bet there are some useful concepts hidden in there somewhere: Wiki:YouArentGonnaNeedIt or something. -- AlexSchroeder


I think the deletions went a bit too far here; there was one silly incendiary comment deleted but also two substantial ones. -- BayleShanks


I think wikis have a problem with forgetting. In fora, blogs etc. everything is marked with a date and if people don't go back to issues they are lost somewhere in archives, while in wiki forgetting requires intentional rewriting of a page. -- ZbigniewLukasiak

If we assume that everything that we write has (should have) some value, then forgetting means to lose some value. Therefore I see no disadvantage in not forgetting. -- HelmutLeitner

This paper takes the position that, if the goal is to better understand designing for collective remembering, we cannot afford to overlook the importance of forgetting. [Collective remembering and the importance of forgetting: a critical design challenge] by Anne Galloway


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