The gay science of wikis

In The sad evolution of wikis, apenwarr voices some interesting points wrt wikis.

Regarding Wikipedia vs Ward's Wiki, and painting with the broadest of brushes, I'd say that Ward's Wiki is a wonderful practical joke or hypermedia art project, whereas Wikipedia is a project to create an encyclopedia that only incidentally uses Wiki technology – how many Wikipedia users know how to edit, let alone create, a page? 1%? 1‰? Put differently: Wikipedia has little place in a discussion of wikis in general, it's simply one successful application of Wiki technology.

I think wikis have one important feature: they put naming front and center; the rest (including "everybody can edit everything") is up for horse-trading. And that's where apenwarr's question is interesting:

How do you create a vibrant community, but allow for private topics and discussion, but allow for public topics and discussion, and allow me to work for more than one company at a time with multiple private discussions, and have my WikiWords always end up pointing where they're supposed to?

Having your WikiWords always end up pointing where they're supposed to is of course a general AI problem. But I think there's some scope for principled approaches to naming in Wiki tech. More later, have to hack.

No comments: