If You Build It, They Will Come

Hammer.png At AboutUs, we believe: “Many hands make good work” to build profound results. We have been creating a space, where communal building happens. BeABuilder embodies our trust in the natural inclination towards creation on a Wiki. It is a philosophy that places RadicalTrust? in the community to create something of lasting value to our community and the world at large. BeABuilder is much more than building wiki pages that are aesthetically-pleasing or highly-informative and useful (although all these are valuable qualities), but building the ways in which people work together to create, and the ways ideas interlace and adhere. The building is as much about the process of building something valuable as it is about the finished product (especially considering we have no defined endpoint).

Connecting to the Core

BeABuilder relies on our three other core values: AssumeGoodFaith?, RealPeople, and ItsAboutUs?. You must first AssumeGoodFaith? in the community before you can feel comfortable contributing your work. Embracing the idea of RealPeople also helps build a community and encourages other RealPeople to help you with your work. To begin building is to join the AboutUs community and accept the dynamic, communal nature of Wiki, all of which is essential to ItsAboutUs?. What are you waiting for Explore the Core!

Basic Philosophy

BeABuilder involves the desire to build and acting on that desire, while keeping your heart in the right place. It is important to keep the other values of the WikiWay? in mind during the process of building, since creation typically involves creative destruction.

BeABuilder begins with the belief that everyone has come to AboutUs to participate in something constructive and informative following the tenets of AssumeGoodFaith?.

BeABuilder is also a commitment to creating something, to becoming actively involved in the AboutUs community and contributing your work.

There is a tacit implication in BeingABuilder? that what has been built before you was designed for you to improve. By contributing you open up your work to collaboration and improvement.

In order to BeABuilder, it is important not to sweat the small stuff. Remember that ChangeIsCheap?. You can perfect the page later, but the first step is to get it started. The idea can be likened to building with Legos, you start somewhere and let the creation take shape, adding and subtracting, constantly re-factoring what you are building. This will also allow a jumping off place for the rest of the community. Focus on the big picture, knowing that other can and will fine-tune your work and ideas.

To achieve this, click “edit” and “save” often. Doing so creates a visual history of your thoughts and changes that others can use to understand and build on top of your work. Clicking “edit” and “save” a lot also allows you to quickly jump into a document and get your hands dirty.

This links to the ReleaseEarlyReleaseOften? philosophy common in the Open Source community:

People seed a page with an idea that’s often vague and poorly worded. It is rough and that’s okay, that’s expected. It’s a beginning.

Other people come along and re-factor it. There is a freedom from fear that others are going to judge their effort as unworthy, in fact the expectation is that others will judge their efforts as highly valuable.

Other Types of Building

BeABuilder isn’t just about great Wiki page creations. BeABuilder is also about building a diverse, vibrant community. Just as there are different types of people in the world, there are different types of builders. We celebrate great writers, organizers, thinkers, artists, and leaders. Part of being a builder is a commitment to collaboration and communication. Anything on the Wiki that is collaborative in nature is part of building the community. Building is everything from a group of people collaborating to create a great Wiki page, a portal, a consensus poll; people building our community; or helping the AboutUs staff by patrolling recent changes and defining who we are.