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HI, my name is Will Lakeman, and I'm a researcher of sorts.

I recently wrote my Master's Dissertation on the Wikipedia, the result of which as the opportunity to write a chapter for a forthcoming collection on wikis. I'm writng about the ways in which wikis can be seen as both texts and communities. I'd love to go into more detail, but i think I'll wait til my paper is up, as it will be available for all.

At the moment, I'm preparing to submit a PhD? proposal. I'd like to write about the possibilities of using wikis to redress some of the inequalities that affect use of the Internet, both globally and socially. To this end, I'm advising a local democratic group on building a website to encourage democratic discussion. I live in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, which has barely abandoned the feudal system, so this is a pressing issue despite us being one of the richest societies in the world - many of the people that live here (the poor, the elderly, the disabled) have nowhere to discuss the policies that affect them, and I'd like to think that wikis might be able to help, if only in a small way.

I should stress that I'm really not a technical person - either in Internet terms or regarding the critical theory that I supposedly use to be a student. I have a firm belief that knowledge is useless if it cannot be explained, at least vaguely, in simple terms. To this end, I try and make my writing as accessible as it can be without causing me to get kicked out of university. So far, I appear to have gotten away with it.

I'm also working on advising tax justice campaigners on building a website to enable activists from across Africa to communicate with one another. To be honest, I'm not even sure what kind of advice I'll give yet, as I've never had to imagine something with such an enormous scope. Any suggestions gratefully received!

I'm very keen to meet new people here. My online time has diminished due to an eye problem, but I'm hoping to get that fixed. You can always email me through my Wikipedia page (WikiPedia:User:Will_Lakeman), and I'll always reply.

Welcome to Meatball, Will. I am interested to know how simple your writing can be without getting kicked out of university, having just finished my Masters as well, also in a non-technical field. I might be able to help you with your wiki-for-democracy project, even if in a small way. -- SunirShah

Will, welcome. It's great that you've come, feel at home here. Your ideas resonate with me and I know a lot about projects and people working in the same direction. RecentChangesCamp focused people interested in the social potential of wiki. BrandonCsSanders and TedErnst may provide information and contacts. AndriusKulikauskas is building his world-wide OpenLeader network of "independent thinkers" and "people sticking their neck out" and I know he supports activists in Africa, e. g. JanetFeldman? in Kenya. FranzNahrada is working for rural development through the GlobalVillages project, a great concept. -- HelmutLeitner



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