[Home]WikiPracticesGlossary

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A core vocabulary to talk about WikiPractices.

Suggested Definitions

action
The smallest visible unit of activity (in the wiki or in other communication channels)
application
The main usage type of a wiki
consensus
Complete (or almost complete) agreement in a group of people about some topic or decision
I do not see consensus as agreement. That bar is too high. I see it as "willingness to let the decision go forward." It is an affermative decision to not block a decision, in face to face communities. In wiki, it seems it could be silent. If I'm not willing to fight, I don't necessarily agree, but I don't block consensus. -- TedErnst
You appear to be arguing with [the dictionary] here. Perhaps you mean "commonly, people achieve consensus about what to do next, but not what's best to do next"? -- ChrisPurcell
He may be referring to [ConsensusDecisionMaking] -- MarkDilley
content
The text (of a page or of a complete wiki)
community
A group of people who share a wiki. They may or may not collaborate.
decision
-
facilitation
To help users to make best use of wiki technology and social experiences (e. g. LynnwoodBrown's notes on [wiki facilitation]). Is the goal of WikiPractices to help wiki facilitation?
force
Predictable influences coming from objects of certain classes (e. g. organisations wanting control? individuals seeking advantages like knowledge, relationships, fun, excitement, status?).
interaction
Actions and reactions between people
ritual
Rituals are are used to express, inculcate and reinforce the shared values and beliefs of a society. When they seem to be traditional, rituals can always be reinvented, as soon as the community believe in the social benefits. In the context of WikiPractices, rituals are very flexible, and may be as simple as conventions; for example, you may establish the ritual of adding a dated signature to the end of the document whenever you make a change. Rituals may also be more complex; for example, the special recognition of particularly strong contributors using highly public awards. A key point is that a 'ritual' can be described in an implementation independent, generic way, using plain language.
It seems that there is no consensus on this definition. E. g. I wouldn't see signing as a ritual and I wouldn't connect rituals with sharing values and beliefs (it seems more like using or sharing a language).
Hmmm. The definition is a standard one, but that doesn't mean it's a good one. Personally I see signing very much as a ritual, same as signing a letter is ritual even though your name and address is at the top. The ritual subscribes you to the belief that a signature is a more personal form of communication, it is a mark of the "trueness" of the letter. By sharing rituals like signing, we establish the values and beliefs of the community we are working within.
reputation
The amount of weight you give to someone's words is determined by their reputation. A reputation may be established by examining prior contributions, or by word of mouth. A reputation may be good or bad.
role
A reference system for a person which defines expected (accepted, predictable) behaviour. A role is always part of a system of roles. A roles provides a positive or negative social status (e. g. BenevolentDictator, MemberRole, troll).
pattern
In the context of WikiPractices, a pattern is a description of a simple, elegant solution to a specific problem in software engineering.
polling
To get an overview of existing opinions
practice
A way to do something, very general
process
A system of repeating actions to create products (content, consensus, standards). Unlike a ritual, a process is specific to an environment and does not allow for as much variation in the execution.
voting
To make a binding decision by counting votes
wiki
The technical system, very general, not assuming special qualities like openness or having a community

Notes, Stories and Discussions

ritual ( WikiRituals? ?)

For the French contemporary anthropologist MarcAugé?, a ritual is a device of construction of the identities by the mediation of otherness. They are used to express, inculcate and reinforce the shared values and beliefs of a society. When they seems to be traditional, rituals can always be reinvented, as soon as the community believe in its social benefits.

ErvingGoffman is probably a rich source for understanding rituals.

practices

The word practices in WikiPractices is a compromise, patterns seemed at first a good choice to the software people who use it to describe living processes, but sociologists see patterns as rigid structures. I wonder whether we can eventually resolve this difference because ChristopherAlexander always talks about living systems but of course his patterns are architectural objects and therefore rigid (a house has a rigid structure but the living process in it hasn't). Using practices means that we have a broad scope to talk about everything that people are doing, not only about patterns that we perceive as proven working solutions. -- HelmutLeitner

I think both work. The practices we've listed so far are rigid structures — our entrance lobby is WelcomeNewcomer, etc. — that constrain the living processes using them in helpful ways. -- ChrisPurcell

lol! Chris you are a software person so patterns does work for you, but the 90 minute conversation we had at WikiSym clearly was split between software people and non, so we settled on WikiPractices. Both are definitely related and it will be interesting to see the differences teased out. Best, MarkDilley

CategoryWikiPractices

Discussion

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