We want our ideas to grow, not only through our own elbow grease (else one would assume we would not be working on a wiki) but through collaboration with peers. When you are trying to collaborate with peers, this is hard enough!
When we add inexperienced people, either with the technologycontent or plain life, this can exponentially challenge us. We have to reformulate our ideas to a different level/culture/whatever.
Why is it important that each of us try to do “handholding” with new collaborators? First of all it helps us to learn how to collaborate. Second of all, the person we are helping has the potential to become a peer in what we are creating.
Obviously there are some fine lines to work around. We are not here exclusively to help people collaborate. We are here to share our ideas and have our peers groove with them. (mostly). We do need to consider how to help inexperienced people grow. The experience of helping an inexeprienced person will help us understand what we need to do as a community to more fully/quickly help folks.
We need growth in us, who are we, critical thinkers, idealist, hope’ers, etc. etc. We love wiki and complimentary ideas/technologies because of this.
We need to understand how much time it might take to “hold hands” with newbies, because we need to learn how to collaborate with people who show up and say they want to collaborate.
The challange is how much time to give newbies trying to grow. (remember people who just show up, are from a wide range of life experience.
The risk is to give too little time to people and then a group stays closed and doesn’t grow, it has good ideas but can not create a place for growth, of newbies and of experienced people.
Being a new and inexperienced person in CommunityWiki, and having gone through similar learning processes in many different wiki and non-wiki VirtualCommunity evironments, I can give you my perspectives.
I think that when people know and understand “why” the whole community does something in a particular way, or tends to follow a particular pattern of behavior, then they likely need less handholding.
I have noticed that every time I run across a new page in this place that describes “why” somethng is done in a certain way, that I am less and less overwhelmed with the overall way that things exist and are being done.
And of course, any intitial handholding can always possibly be recycled/reused with next new community member.