MaintainerMode is another mode of operation, a set of social rules, for a wiki page. Compare this to ThreadMode and DocumentMode. See also MeatballWiki:MaintainerMode.

This modes serves special interests:

The social rules:


External examples:

CommunityWiki examples:

I would like to see that as in fact the main mode for documents - the latest Firstmonday contains a very relevant article to our discussions about the quality of online productions “Limits of self–organization: Peer production and ‘laws of quality’” by Paul Duguid and I think this would be one way to avoid the problems mentioned there. I would also propose a mechanism to degrade the article when the discussion shows that it does not hold it’s premises.

In practice wikizens often act that way, just adding comments at the bottom of a page, assuming that the original poster doesn’t want changes to his text. Usually this is wrong, because the maintainer role is a burden, especially for founders, who wish that participants take full control over the text content and act in consensus. The MaintainerMode doesn’t need or seek a consensus about the topic.

I see a number of problems with using MaintainerMode as the main mode in a wiki. If the maintainer doesn’t do his job, it is a lot of work to get out of this situation without annoying people. The namespace is blocked if the page is about a fundamental term, maybe for days or weeks. Renaming pages, deleting pages, talking about lack of quality … all this can lead into conflicts. But of course it would be great if someone could explore this somwhere.

I’m excited to see this; I broght up something like this a few days ago, on ConversationProcess. Helmut, did you see that? (Partly, I’m wondering why you didn’t link to this page from that page, or vice versa; I figure you must have missed it, in the heat of the EthicsConversationRoadmap? genesis.)

I share Zbigniew’s enthusiasm about more structured interactions on this wiki. This may even be part of an immediate Internet zeitgeist. (See Paul Duguid article, [1], and a recent SlashDot post, [2].)

I need some clarity on the vision of this page:

  • What kinds of special rules apply, in MaintainerMode?
  • For instance, do you mean that some individual, or some dedicated group, takes the role of maintaining the DocumentMode? I think that’s what you mean, but- it doesn’t say it anywhere, explicitly, on this page.
  • I’m confused, because it says, “like a newspaper article,” and newspaper articles aren’t maintained; They don’t change, or incorporate reader responses, or anything like that. They are written once. So, I’m not sure how the analogy works.
  • Or, is this a more general thing, refering to any page wherein the DocumentMode is maintained by particular rules, or particular people?

I feel that this page goes a bit beyond what we usuallyt hink of as a “mode,” which I usually think of as a policy of writing in a part of a page– the ThreadMode, the DocumentMode. But this seems to have to do with the whole page. And it goes beyond the page, because it gets into WikiNamespace? management, and communal decisions about OffTopic, or “we’re just not interested in this” – government.

In fact, I think that there’s a big idea leading off of this, that we are headed towards: CommunityWikiGovernment. I suspect we’ll be answering “How does CommunityWiki make decisions?” relatively soon.

Lion, I had to pause for a few days because of my lecture contribution to and participation at the Wikiposium in Vienna.

I’m sorry that I’m unable to read everything that is written at cw, so I just read ConversationProcess. Of course there is a strong relationsship. ConversationProcess asks the principle questions of how we work together in the wiki and describes traditional methods. MaintainerMode describes an additional method or pattern. Other modes, like BrainstormMode, have been developed and will be developed. I think that a community can look at these modes, which defines rough rulesets and rational considerations, and decide whether it wants to give them a try or not.

My mentioning of OffTopic is superfluous, because this is a principle aspect that is always present with all that is written. I only mentioned it because the MaintainerMode gives the original author so much control over a page (again: like an owner over his home page), that I wanted to note that there is a last ressort in case of conflict. But this should only happen if contributors are in a way blind to the social needs of a community or e. g. chose to ignore these to play some personal game to their own satisfaction.

You are right that this mode is connected to the topics of NameSpaceManagement? and to the OffTopicPolicy?, the first probably being more important in practice than the second with DifficultPeople?. Both should pose no problems with real authors, ProfessionalContributors?, because they are used to some MediaOwnership? and have a self-interest to publish in that medium where their text is most effective. Usually this means where it it most OnTopic and is read by the TargetGroup most interested in their opinion.

In the summary ther is still this “problems when used as a general mode”. I don’t quite understand this. If one wants to have this as a general mode, then the wiki would be something like an online journal. period. Typically wikis are multi-mode, like a sports green, where you can do soccer or frizbee or Tai Chi according to different social rules. Still a community doesn’t need to accept everything, because of their own interests, or because of the athmosphere.

I do not see modes related to governance, because all modes we know do in fact create understandable and recognizable social situations, reference systems, which take the various interests into account.

Sigi and me have a long-term love-and-hate relationship. If I would participate in the current cw governance discussion - which is inappropriate for an OccasionalContributor anyway - he would attribute any new restrictions to my influence. Quite to the contrary - this is just a one-sentence contribution - I believe in in tolerance against difficult persons, because we are all in a way difficult persons. FightingIsBoring.

Well, that’s what I “hate” about sigi. :-) That he often acts as a SocialGamer?, maybe trying to push people into states of intolerance. Then he points at them and feels a winner for some reason.


Ah– the MeatballWiki:MaintainerMode page makes this totally clear.

It’s just like a newspaper article. It’s not meant to be changed and edited. It is meant to be like a static page, but on the wiki. So you deflect comments to a different page, and so on.


It makes sense. I get it.

I would put in something like:

Basically, the idea is to publish something like an article found in a newspaper (news, opinion, …,) but do it in a wiki instead of in a newspaper. Unlike most pages in wiki, the article is not intended to be reworked.

Yes. It makes perfect sense.

And furthermore, your later comments made a ton of sense. No, of course we wouldn’t use this everywhere: You are right, that would mean that this was basically an online journal.

I’m inclined to delete my original comment, if you don’t mind; And I see that, while tangentially connected with ConversationProcess, it’s not very strongly.

I can’t be sure, but I suspect ZbigniewLukasiak was looking at the original write-up in a similar way that I was: From the recent context of ConversationProcess.

OK. All clear by me. If you like you can delete my comments here; It’s all clear now.

The article can be improved, but it is not necessary. A HomePage or a personal opinion like HelmutsConceptOfEthics can change over time. For good articles the ruleset could include PeerReview. Many variations are possible. The reason why I brought this idea in, is: it is a way to create supporting pages for the ethics discussion and still stay focused.

The first name for this mode was ArticlePage or ArticleMode? but I dropped that because it restricts the use of the pattern.

Define external redirect: ProfessionalContributors NameSpaceManagement OffTopicPolicy DifficultPeople EthicsConversationRoadmap ArticleMode MediaOwnership WikiNamespace SocialGamer

EditNearLinks: SlashDot ForestFire BrainstormMode HomePage OccasionalContributor ArticlePage TargetGroup WikiFractality ProWiki FightingIsBoring DocumentMode PeerReview


The same page elsewhere: