On the CommunityWiki, we ask ourselves, “How do we want to talk? What’s our conversation process?” With those questions come other questions: “What do we want in DocumentMode? How do we ensure reworking?”

This wiki includes wiki itself as a subject, and we experiment with conversational forms on this wiki. Our answers to the questions on this page are by no means settled.

PageMaintainer: LionKimbro


Ideas for DocumentMode

”…perhaps we should work a bit more on the DocumentMode - to define a bit more what we would expect from the Documents here.” (ZbigniewLukasiak)

What kinds of things would we like in the DocumentMode? Please feel free to tell us about what things you think are important.

For theory pages (as in TheoryBuilding):

For conversations:

In general:


“How do we determine LinkLanguage? Should we have a formal process?”

As for the multiplication of “words” in our link language as we split a long page into smaller pages, I wouldn’t worry too much. (AlexSchroeder)

The choice of names is not unimportant; “This is the word that you’ll use to refer to this idea.” It doesn’t take long to change a page, but it can take a while to change LinkLanguage. That said, we have redirects and page aliases to help balance things out.

Our choice of LinkLanguage is usually non-controversial. A long page often develops named section headings, which then export to full pages. Or a page begins with a name such as “WhatIsFoo,” “FooArchived,” or “FooDiscussion.”

ImportanceOfIdentityInOnlineCommunities, is an inspiring example; Note that most of the resulting smaller pages linked to in the “issues” section have good and valuable names.

There was a debate in SourceOfEthics about whether to call it SourceOfEthics, or NaturalisticSourceOfEthics, or LionOnTheSourceOfEthics?, and so on. Conversation settled on NaturalisticSourceOfEthics. We have not had any situations wherein it was difficult to determine what to do, after talking.

Our History

For the most part, CommunityWiki, (and several other Communalwiki,) have used what we’ll call the TraditionalConversationProcess, which goes something like this:

  1. A CommunityMember or OccasionalContributor starts a new post with a new name, in the CommunityWikiPageLayout, and fills out the DocumentMode.
  2. Everybody who is interested attaches comments in discussion.
  3. A CommunityMember or OccasionalContributor may start a new page if there is a tangential major non-controversial concepts. Care is taken to avoid a ForestFire.
  4. Very occasionally, someone will rework some idea or some part of discussion back into the DocumentMode.

However, we haven’t been entirely happy with this; We’ve observed the LackOfReworking, for instance, or that we can veer OffTopic, and feel like we haven’t accomplished something. The questions above reflect some of the things we’ve wondered about. There are likely other questions, that just haven’t surfaced yet.

LionKimbro started some momentum around a DesignatedMaintainerProcess, the idea that people could become “PageMaintainer” for a page, and the designated page maintainer would tend the conversation, and the DocumentMode, to ensure that positive things come out.

There are likely many more forms, which we would like to understand and to explore.


The “WikiWay” deserves special note.

People say its a good idea, and that it works great. But nobody seems to be able to express what it is. It’s plausibly more than just a ParadoxOfExpression, (a reality that cannot be expressed,) though, because people who claim to be attuned to it don’t always agree with one another on the application of the mystery to a situation.


PageMaintainer: LionKimbro. Incorporates conversations with ZbigniewLukasiak, HansWobbe, and AlexSchroeder.

See Also


OK, I’ve worked in Alex’s ideas.

The super-question is: What containers would we like for our conversations here?

Sub-questions are listed above, and another question is, as always: “What are some other good questions?”

LionKimbro has moved talk about choosing LinkLanguage to a section above, ChoosingLinkLanguage. 2007-01-26

Define external redirect: LionOnTheSourceOfEthics SignPost

EditNearLinks: CommunityMember ImportanceOfIdentityInOnlineCommunities ForestFire DocumentMode OccasionalContributor WhatIsReworking