“While the wiki allows for collaboration, it makes it difficult for the observer to follow developments. Thus the idea for using a blog as the tip of the wiki iceberg. Makes sense to me.”Tom Lowenhaupt (?) on Beyond Voting wiki: New Tools of Democracy

People read news in blogs, but not wiki. Why is that?

We blame RecentChanges. RecentChanges is good for tracking the minutai of wiki edits, but bad if you want to read news.

Here’s what you get when you read a blog:

And here’s what you get when you read RecentChanges:

These things in RecentChanges are good for the WikiCommunity regulars, but we are skeptical that outsiders are as interested in them.

It may even be true that wiki’s don’t participate as much in the “global conversation” as blogs do, simply because people have a hard time following what’s going on in them.

Our idea to correct this, we call: “BlogControlledByWiki.” You can see it demonstrated here, on the FrontPage. You can also see the SideBar, which helps people to understand who writes here, and how this community is connected with other communities.

If more wiki get into BlogControlledByWiki, we could aggregate them all with an aggregator like Planet Planet. It may also lead to increased InterCommunityCooperation between wiki, since it would be easier to follow other people’s wiki.



CategorySocialSoftware CategoryCommunication


I stumbled across Angela's blog. What are all the links on the left side ? Is each of them a BlogControlledByWiki ? Some of them sound very interesting, such as Communication Design.

It’s a “blogroll,” a list of the RSS feeds that you are subscribed to.

A BlogControlledByWiki is a blog that is controlled by the participants of a wiki.

A BlogControlledByWiki is not RecentChanges, which is not edited / filtered for external use. RecentChanges has a lot of noise, with respect to someone who just wants to know what people are up to, what they think is noteworthy, etc.,.

Some RecentChanges activity is blog worthy.

Ideas: On the OddMuse Editing page add an [This change is a blog-worthy edit.] checkbox or maybe even separate edit area.

By checking the box or by adding to the [Blog:] edit area, the submitter is voting for this page to be submitted to today’s blog.

A user’s vote weight is automatically determined by past community action toward the user’s edits.

For instance, if TrollsAlot? posts are always deleted, or he votes in ways that nobody else agrees, then his weight is diminished.

Voting members must deal with security for identity management but ‘passerby’ editing could still be allowed with a very low or zero vote weight.

Do you know about our FrontPage, and how it works?

Yes, but it doesn’t quite do what I’d like.

The content is simply the top part of that page, not a description of the melee.
You must edit another page instead of writing the description here.
Collapsed divs might contain larger diff portions with EDiff highlighting.

What is EDiff? I don’t understand “Collapsed divs might contain larger diff portions with EDiff highlighting”.

Right now I think the intent is to let the community work over the blog entries before they are posted; so the contents of the posts necessarily has to be part of some page, not just something that one user entered in an edit box somewhere. But perhaps you are suggesting that a special “blog” section of some pages be tied to a special “blog” edit box? that would be cool.

Voting would require coding a lot of infrastructure; and I think most people on CommunityWiki don’t want to vote if possible (see AboutVoting). I personally think voting would be good for some things; I am undecided if it would be good for this.

I agree that making the blog inclusion be just the top section of the page makes it awkward to describe the “melee”, and that there should somehow be another way to describe the melee without putting it at the top of that page.

Caution: I am assuming the FrontPage wants to become a BlogControlledByWiki, and am also looking toward high-traffic situations of the larger wikis.
I also realize much of this is not trivial to code, but this is only the design phase.

EDiff is an EmacsLisp front-end for the diff executable. I mentioned it because it shows both the changed chunks and changes within each chunk - so 4 colors are used and the human work needed to understand the change is greatly decreased.

By ‘div’ I mean the HTML element <div> that can collapse (hide, fold) text that is otherwise too messy to show, but is valuable to those interested…

The ‘voting’ I envision would hopefully be mostly automatic - determined mostly by the actions of the other members and their actions toward the actions of the worker in question.

BayleShanks said:

> "... let the community work over the blog entries before they are posted;"

Well, the FrontPage isn’t like that. In that case a single worker decides and then changes the source of that page.

I agree the community should “work over” the entries before they are posted as described below.

> "so the contents of the posts necessarily has to be part of some page"

Hmm… But aren’t (non-wiki) blog entries more often a description of the activity with a link to the site being discussed, with literal page contents usually quoted?

Either way I think the entry should summarize the activity and allow the curious to quickly determine the literal changes without visiting the page.

> "not just something that one user entered in an edit box somewhere."

That’s why I suggest filling the Blog: edit-box (located just below the Summary: edit-box) would only indicate the worker is making a vote toward inclusion (implicit in this case).

Other workers could review (“work over”) the BlogCandidates? page and approve or disapprove (an explicit vote in this case) of the inclusion.

Workers who too often suggest entries that are strongly disapproved may lose voting weight (this should be automatic).

Just noticed LionKimbro asked for a similar “SimultaneousWikiBlogPost?”:

Before delving deeper into the topic, the author author made his contribution in form of (noninvasive) annotations to this page

Attention: The annotation software is “work in progress”. Normally you get the annotations by only moving the cursor to the marked texts. But the author just detected a workaround: Right click the marked text (you get the normal context menue) and then move the cursor away from the context menue window) Result: the local annotation pops up. If you want to see all public annotations webwide, click fridemar's annotationsFridemarPache. PS.: Currently the author experiences some irregularities in the Diigo Software: annotations seem to load, but don’t appear, links in annotations are uncorrect in ‘fridemar’s annotation’, although they work correctly in the target windows. So it might be a good idea to help testdrive the system and give feedback to the Diigo Programmers. ThisWikiPageIsDiigoAnnotated

Having just finnished a bit of experimenting with the excellent Calendar functions in the Oddmuse software, I find myself thinking that the approach of a WikiControlledByBlog? may be as valid as this page’s BlogControlledByWiki perspective. Now, I am also intrigued by how Time (as a ‘fundamental’ dimension), can be used in WikiWeaving, in spite of generally being denigrated by many people as not being part of the WikiWay.

As the DiigoService is sometimes down and perhaps nobody, except Hans, has visited the Annotation Layer above this page, it appears appropriate to the author to CopyDown? one of his dozens of annotations:

<AnnotationDownCopy? (losing positional- and rich text-, but not date- information)

- on 11-19-2006 - Thank you for this suggestion to use additional technology.

As another additional option, the author suggests WikiBlogging. In this case an author, who starts a page

    * marks  it  simply  as  ThisWikiPageBlogsTo (his blog)
    * invites peers who  support the arguments to hir page
    * allows  pro/cons  to  annotate  it
    * leaves  a  bidirectional  link  to a  contra-page

The pro and con authors could even help each other with donating arguments to the counterpart :-)


    * invites blog-ready peers. ... to add to this page for later blogging
    * the annotations can be seen on the blog page
    * each peer signs with their RealName

Proponents and Opponents should remain friends. If this page becomes too crowded, we could kick DownCopies? into Annotation Orbit again ;-) thus catalyzing document mode.


I’ve been asking (back of my mind) for a few days: What can motivate wiki communities to regularly post updates for people outside the WikiCommunity?

I think that the most basic motivation is that someone is reading.

But do we know if anybody is reading?

A very important question is: Why would someone read our blog?

This question is intended constructively, not skeptically.

There are hints that people read, now and then, but it’s very loose.

So, some good follow up questions include:

  • How can we find out who is reading our own blog?
  • How shall we find out why they are reading our blog?
  • How shall we convince other wiki communities that we will read their blogs, if they keep them and post to them?

I have a feeling that some other blogs have dropped our blog; I seem to recall that some of the blogs on the right panel under “Weblogs” used to list us, but it seems that we’ve been delisted; I think likely because either (A) we were talking about non-wiki stuff, which is not relevant to their focus, or because (B) we did not post in a long time.

This brings up some interesting questions in its own right:

  • Would our readers be more interested in the community hodge-podge of interests, or would they prefer that we post only to the blog what is relevant to wiki?
  • How shall we find out?
  • Would people be interested in the aggregation of multiple communities hodge-podges of interests, aggregated together, after discussion?

The image of a journal comes to mind, or conference proceedings. At WikiSym, for example, it felt a bit like a “hodge-podge,” with some focusing on metadata, others focusing on building graphical editors into their wiki, others focusing on sister sites, others focusing on patterns of wiki use, and so on. That said, it was all about wiki.

I wonder: “Is this something that WikiOhana would take an interest in?” I would definitely read “Planet Wiki,” if there were several wiki out there, posting their best and most recent pages of interest. Planet Wiki would make it easy to look through the blogs of other wiki communities, and aggregate in what is of interest.

There is an interesting question of: What is the pace of a conversation between communities?

The pace must be slower, because if a community responds to something another community says, it takes a while for it to think about it and form a response representative of the community.

This suggests that the focus is more on announcement than conversation. The community is announcing it’s thoughts and experiences, not so much with the thought of communication in mind.

Wow, Lion, this is really a new type of conversation you are proposing. A sort of CommunityToCommunityConversation?. I imagine something like this:

CommunityWiki outputs a blog page summary page to PlanetWiki?, that is the reworked from a discussion and a CW page, let’s pretend this page is OpenTheory.

…Other Wiki communities respond by discussing internally, and then outputting a summary of thier discussion and related pages.

Eventually, different “blog channels” could be created in the Meta Planet Wiki that cover different topics.

I think people would be likely to read the blog output if the content were consumable and understandable, similar to a regular blog posting.

I can already tell you that people read blog postings about CommunityWiki that I’ve made to smartmobs, p2p foundation blog, cooperation commons blog, and my own blog. One of the largest amounts of traffic I received came from a post that I made about Community wiki, that was picked up by a Latin American blog, and then reblogged by hundreds of other spanish-speaking blogs. So, from my perspective, people are interested in what is going on here, if it is translated into terms they can grasp.

It will be interesting to (at least try to) measure the “propagation” rate of a message (or concept evolution) both within a community and among various on-line communities. Track-back methodologies should be useful in gathering the raw data. If this works, then it should even be possible to create a model; perhaps even one that is fine-grained enough to measure differences in the propagation rates within various communities.

I am already experimenting with this inside FlickR, based on their View counts and “Interestingness” alogorithms.

Hans, I am almost certain that a spectrum of different people have been working on exactly this type of thing for about 5-6 years now. I think it is different, depending on the online medium, as to how they are going about collecting data, and qualifying data. I am going to make a page, called ConceptEvolution?, with a section that talks about how people track and quantify this type of thing through different online mediums (blogs, social bookmarking, media sharing sites, wikis, etc). I just need to dig through my own research on this, plus some of what TimKeller has put together for SocialNetworkSecurity that is related. Plus, we can tie this concept to EcosystemOfNetworks, which is something I’ve been meaning to work on for a long time, and CausalLayeredAnalysis, in terms of ConceptEvolution?.

I too am aware of quite a bit of reaearch that is taking place in related fields. My own very specific interests are rooted in a need to build some models that can be used to quantify and then possibly predict Group behaviour(s). As I too start to collect some thoughts, I’ll try to keep your interests in mind on the assumption that we might find an opportunity to collaborate a bit on this specific topic. ( hwoToDo )

BrianDorsey? & I were having a conversation about exactly this page, and the problem of the “UnknownWikiSphere?.” That is, we can talk a lot in wiki about very interesting things, but the BlogoSphere and (by extension) the rest of the world knows hardly a thing about what happens in here.

I said, “I swear, I read absolutely brilliant papers and posts by SunirShah, but they get hardly any airplay and comment by the blogs world. When was the last time you heard of a famous wiki piece making the rounds on the blogosphere? Hardly ever happens. Last I can remember was CommunityTiedToOneTechnology, and I think word of that came through material world word-of-mouth, and then got picked up on the blogosphere.

So BrianDorsey? had an interesting idea. He said that somebody should write a personal blog, covering “what happens in CommunityWiki.” Tie it to someone’s opinion and voice, rather than having a group procedure or a group process for determining and then communicating the CollectiveSpeech of the group.

So, I think this is a good idea, and am thinking about making a blog, “Happenings on CommunityWiki,” or something like that.

I still haven’t given up on the dream of some sort of EmergentStructure, EpisodicStructure, but it’s a good interim, at the very least.

Go for it

How about about doing this as a bliki? That way, its part of the Oddmuse environment, allowing the use of Collections and TransClusions?. Who knows, perhaps this could be a bit of a wrap on the WikiHive idea, were what you do becomes one of the honeycomb cells that fits together nicely with the cells create by others, forming a complete honeycomb.


Define external redirect: ConceptEvolution BrianDorsey BlogCandidates UnknownWikiSphere SimultaneousWikiBlogPost WikiControlledByBlog DownCopies CopyDown AnnotationDownCopy TrollsAlot TransClusions PlanetWiki CommunityToCommunityConversation

EditNearLinks: OddMuse SunirShah WikiCommunity TimKeller FlickR StableCopy BlogoSphere DiigoService EmacsLisp