2021-03-22, on page WardsOfficeHours, SunirShah reported that he has despammed MeatballWiki. Thus, the meatball is back in business after years of a deep slumber.

For CW, it means that NearLinks are meaningful again.

Can we consider that event as part of WikiRevival?


new: 2021-03-23 20:09 UTCTimurIsmagilov: Well, it’s back, it’s cool, but, to be honest, I like CW more :-) The visual design is more friendly and the markup is better.

Also, I suppose both wikis should work closely together to achieve some goal. What goal though?

new: 2021-03-24 10:04 UTCAlex Schroeder: Well, originally, Meatball was the meta discussion: the wiki about “wiki”, in other words, about Ward’s Wiki Wiki. The focus was on people running online communities, or at least being interested in running them, interested in knowing what those people were running into, and by online communities we meant whatever was current at the time: KuroShin, SlashDot, the emergence of blogs. It was a lot about the conversation itself, too. Things like ColdBlanket, ForestFire, and so on. How do we talk about things? CommunityWiki was born out of a certain disregard for the conversation and the people in it: I was mostly interested in a free license, thinking that the knowledge on these pages should be something that could be repurposed. Indirectly, this is also a value statement of ThreadMode vs. DocumentMode. Caring about the conversation and the participants means threads are good; if documents are good, on the other hand, then the license is important.

As you can see, however, with our focus on DenotingAuthor, on DocumentsVsMessages, and so on, we basically went in a big circle, covered much of the same ground, wondered about CommunityWikiBylawsDiscussion, and so on. In the end, the different fates of the two wikis were determined by the software: Meatball wiki ended up with some Javascript FilteredRecentChanges that I couldn’t wrap my head around, and Meatball wiki got more spam. Nevertheless, both ended up a FishBowl.

Now, from the perspective of still prioritizing “documents”, maybe in an attempt of preserving out LinkLanguage, treating Meatball Wiki (and Wiki Wiki) as the parent soil to turn to if we have nothing to say on a topic still seems like a good idea. SisterSite, NearLink, these ideas tie us to Meatball Wiki and Wiki Wiki, and make me care about them. I can’t simply copy things over because the license is not there, but I’d like to hold on to them as tightly as I can.

Anyway, that’s why I appreciate all Meatball Wiki improvements: better software, better spam fighting, whatever it takes. Meatball Wiki is important soil to grow our roots in, a source of concepts like SoftSecurity, CommunityExpectation, BarnRaising, LifeInText, and and a window into the NymWars via UseRealNames, ImportanceOfIdentityInOnlineCommunities, a window into blog history via WebLog… It remains an important artefact.

SunirShah: Timur, back in business may be overstating it a little! I fixed the server and despammed the site. I did it out of guilt. It was weighing on me it was in such a vandalized state.

Alex, thank you for the trip through memory lane. I’ve forgotten half the material on MeatballWiki, or maybe more.

Are there pages you’d like to copyleft in particular? It just requires cribbing or rewriting, so it isn’t a straight copy and paste. It is a bit of work mind you, but not horrifying.

The issue at the time wasn’t the licensing. It was that it never was truly important to invest the time.

The pages are fairly illegible for outsiders anyway. Also the RightToBeForgotten? is now law, so copylefting the free form discussion still remains a contentious idea.

If there were valuable ideas, the best thing to do would have been to write an ebook or precis summarizing them in normal prose for regular people, and copyleft that.

It may be easier now that there’s a lot of time separating the moment. The sentimental value of the pages is less important now than focusing on any ideas worth preserving in copyleft.

new: 2021-03-25 16:25 UTCLionKimbro:

SunirShah, it is so good to see your name again. I know that I’ve consistently frustrated you in the past, and suspect that whatever it is about how I act that bothered you then, would bother you today. But regardless, it brings me great joy to see you again.

I love your idea of writing some kind of an e-book or something. “MeatballWikiSummarized?,” or something, I imagine. Pages off the top of my head would be about SoftSecurity, “People, people, computers, and people,” and the CommunityRoles chart. I know there’s so much more.

It’s great to see you. And it sparks me to wonder what HelmutLeitner is up to, as well. I’ve seen a little bit of MarkDilley, too.

SunirShah: Lion, lol! We talked it out a hundred years ago, apologies were made, misunderstandings understood. It’s all good. I hope you are well and happy.

I think if we were being honest, the only reason folks never rewrote the MeatballWiki stuff under CopyLeft is we were all burnt out. If I was a stick in the mud, I was not feeling creative or motivated at the end.

The only thing that really mattered to anyone about MeatballWiki was all the friendships. That’s why I fixed it. It’s sad to leave it alone. The copyright license thing is not the real problem because there’s a positive, constructive way to overcome it. So, why not just get to it then?

It would also be sad if any of this sits like a lump in people’s mind. If so, please take the pleasure in doing this small, simple act of making a copyleft version.


Define external redirect: RightToBeForgotten MeatballWikiSummarized

EditNearLinks: FishBowl KuroShin SisterSite DocumentMode ForestFire MeatballWiki SlashDot BarnRaising SunirShah ColdBlanket WebLog ImportanceOfIdentityInOnlineCommunities CommunityRoles CommunityExpectation LifeInText