WikiWiki: The Power of Collaborative Content Development

Jon Udel has posted a fascinating multimedia demonstration of the power of collaborative editing and social sanctioning by exploring the life of a single Wikipedia topic over a two year period. Audio required.

Slightly more than halfway through the demo, Jon shows out how quickly and permanently acts of WikiVandalism and editorial impropriety are reversed, even in an obscure domain frequented by a rough and tumble community of heavy metal enthusiasts.

If you have doubts about the durability of the WikiWiki medium and the emergent social dynamic that makes it viable, this flash presentation could very well make you a true believer, like me.

Comments (8)

  1. Ben says:

    Heh, I wonder if the topic selection (heavy metal umlaut) will prevent some people of seeing wiki usefulness. I’m definitely sold on the potential of wiki, and I’ve been surprised at the acceptance of it even from "non-technical" folks at the office. I would love it even more if it could be as easy to use as ms word, i.e. drag images onto it, wysiwyg editing, more formatting options, etc. We started with FlexWiki because it "ran on windows" but we’re strongly considering leaving for richer wiki platforms … any thoughts on whether Flexwiki will last long-term? Or is GDN going to crush it?

  2. GotDotNet will never "crush" FlexWiki. If anything, we would branch a blessed build (like the upcoming v2.0) and use it for backend storage of User Samples documentation, Workspaces notes, etc.

    I’m on the fence regarding WYSIWYG Wikis. For "technical" folks, I think I prefer the WikiText interface, especially with FlexWiki, which allows you to do cool things with WikiTalk. Check out the ExpiresOn timer on my UserPage. ­čÖé For my mom, I definitely prefer WYSIWYG.

    There are many decent WYSIWYG Wikis in the wild. Two of my favorites are and

    However, FlexWiki is an extensible Wiki engine. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody isn’t already working on a non-text editor. FlexWiki is an active, shared source project that has many talented and passionate developers working on it. It’s a good horse to tie your cart to but it certainly isn’t the only one in the stable.

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