This was an idea that originally appeared in ReportingForOutsiders.

Motivating Fiction

In 2007, MattisManzel, LionKimbro, and ChristopheDucamp of CommunityWiki, MeatballWiki, and CraoWiki started “The 4 Communities Digest.” LionKimbro wrote 1-2 paragraphs a month about what people in CommunityWiki were talking about, and Lion wrote 1-2 paragraphs a month about what people in MeatballWiki were talking about. ChristopheDucamp wrote 1-2 paragraphs about what people were talking about in CraoWiki. MattisManzel wrote up 1-2 paragraphs about what was going on in S-23. ChristopheDucamp then translated the text to French. Initially, they just kept the digest on a page in CommunityWiki, and then migrated it to an OddWiki, as things matured.

Initially, it was just something of an “odd curiosity.” “Oh, look at this thing that Mattis, Lion, and Christophe are doing. Hunh.” They had to draw attention to the digest, and, because they were friends, some people consented to read.

Then a few more groups were added. LionKimbro started doing a 1-2 paragraph digest for the SaturdayHouse, and distributing the “4 Communities Digest” at the SaturdayHouse, as well, along with explaining the idea. A few people were like, “Hm, … Whatever,” a few were sympathetic, and a few started reading it. “You mean, you can introduce me to all these people? That’s pretty interesting. Yeah, I want to keep reading this.”

There were some more groups, as well. A writer from another community added a voice, and MattisManzel added another group he was part of. ChristopheDucamp added 2, in time. The intent to change the name beyond “4 Communities Digest” was there, but nobody really had the time to do anything about it.

The digest started to become familiar. It was the digest of ordinary geeks, and it was fun and inspiring to see what other people, to which there is personal access and introduction, were doing. When someone in Crao Wiki read that there was a RepRap being constructed in SaturdayHouse (this is true, and the RepRap is real,) he became very excited, and a three-way conversation was arranged, online with ChristopheDucamp working as translator. The fellow in France then started to make a RepRap of his own, coordinating with JustinMartenstein (of the SaturdayHouse,) for replication in France. This is just one example, there were others as well.

The digest started to develop. More and more groups were interested in participating in the digest. It was felt that there was some sort of “natural limit,” a discovery of a checkpoint beyond the 150 person count (Dunbar #?). It was discovered that, beyond 1200 people, things started to get a bit unweildly. So LionKimbro and BayleShanks started working with other groups, groups they had never heard of, to teach them the technique of cross-coordinating, so that they could make their own hive clusters, with the promise (and beginnings) of making a “hive of hives,” one day.


jepp! Let’s do that. Didn’t get it first, have been too deep in making the wiki-net grow. We’re approaching from different ends I guess. A good meeting it has just been on VoIP with MarkDilley, SamRose, you lion and me mattis btw. What I was talking about is DraftOfNextFacePage? refering to FacePages? syndicated to pages WikiNetFaces like eArt-wiki-hive / wiki-Woodstock: wiki-net faces. The draft is not syndicated (automatically), the face is. When it’s time and the people like the draft someone in the community copies it over to a real “face” day-page and from that moment on it’s locally readable on pages WikiNetFacesnof? interested neighboring wikis. That’s a step to follow later, true, first starting with a little help locally is the next. Hopefully it finally just won’t turn into CommunityDigest? on all wikis. I mean, compare that to “face”. ;)

They made a tremendous collection of data about Mediawikis recently. They asked for Oddmuse wikis to be integrated. s23-wiki: wiki-stats.

Here are writeups for communities I participate in or know of.

communitywiki: CommunityWiki has been talking about business process networks, the nature of corporations (WhatCompaniesMustDo,) and the question of paying contributors. Key pages: CommunityWikiBusinessDiscussion, DoOcracy, PayRequiredInitially. SamRose is looking to revive CommunityRepository.

meatballwiki: MeatballWiki has witnessed a struggle over the question of making money through wiki activity.

saturdayhouse: SaturdayHouse is excited about JustinMartenstein’s expressed goal of building a RepRap, and recently had a burst of new people coming due to MindCamp 4.


  • I think it may be appropriate to state that Corporations have ‘character’ in the same sense that people do. At least, I believe that it is possible to define various characteristics that are apparent in the behaviors of both types of entities. In this light, the question of WhatCompaniesMustDo becomes much more context sensitive. i.e. …
    • Public versus Private companies must do different things.
    • ditto For Profit and Not For Profit
    • “ Family owned versus employee owned.
  • In my opinion the meatball struggle was more about the specific suggestions and the style in which the were presented, then it was about whether or not wikis should make money.


  • Regarding “Let’s do that” - I am planning to, but I need to stress I am planning. At this time, this means…
    • I am defining a style of MicroPages? that I will distribute via the …COPY:… command to any wiki that is capable of receiving them. Sam and I have both tested this methodology and it works (all be it, a bit slowly so it may be necessary to create a “cascade” of such pages, at least until we have the ability to optimize the process a bit)
    • I have been making notes about the corporate structure that I think will be needed to support CwB - CommunityWikiBusiness?(s).
      • Obviously, what I am visualizing and will be proposing is nothing more than my personal view, but at least this will define what I envisage well enough that others will be able to choose to participate or not, as they wish.
        • I may as well say that this freedom is very important to me.
    • I am starting to shift my focus to the questions of “What will WcB? do…
      • in exchange for its Revenues?”
        • What Goods and Services will we sell?
        • How will the be sold?
        • etc. - all of the things that a real business needs to do to make money.
        • How will its start-up period be funded?
          • Investment? Debt? “Sweat” equity? and
          • How will these contributions be rewarded? Interest for Debt? Options for sweat-equity? Licences and Royalties? etc. …
      • to manage its Expenses?
        • Decision making methods - Documented and Delegated Authority, Governance, etc.
  • Rereading this, it strikes me that I seem to be acting as if this is a DoOcracy. :-)

The MeatballWiki situation was being intentionally “covered up,” by me, because I didn’t want to draw unnecessary attention. Still not sure the best way to handle such a situation when “reporting.” Some times, de-listing draws more attention than a simple cover-up..! :)

Regardless, it’s something to think about.

Define external redirect: CommunityDigest WcB WikiNetFacesnof MicroPages FacePages CommunityWikiBusiness DraftOfNextFacePage

EditNearLinks: CraoWiki MeatballWiki