An “Ordered Wiki” is a ManagedWiki with strictly defined authorities and rules of process.


What might an OrderedWiki look like?

The following description of one possible ordered wiki was made up in roughly an hour. This is not a claim that this is a particularly good way of holding an ordered wiki; This is simply to light up the imagination with a possibility.

The example ordered wiki (EOW) would have a collection of pages called “Fiat” pages. Fiat pages would tell how things work, and would be the basis of authority and judgement on the wiki. Anything that is in a fiat page is “rule of law” for the wiki. All authority would be seen as issuing forth from a “root fiat page,” as written by a “root fiat authority,” (the RFA, the person who maintains the wiki and the process.) The root fiat page links to other fiat pages, which may in turn link to other fiat pages.

The only person who can edit the Fiat pages is the RFA, and anybody that the RFA delegates authority to. The RFA can revoke any authority that has been delegated, and the RFA can reverse any decisions made, at any time.

Then there would be “content” pages and “application” pages. Content pages are what we traditionally think of as “wiki pages” – content pages describe some idea, or some conversation, and include user comments and so on. The bulk of the community contribution goes to “content” pages. That said, there are some structures around the content pages; For example, a content page cannot be made without an “application” page being filled out, first.

In the application page, a person who is applying for a content page would describe things such as:

Pages are not automatically granted existance. The RFA (or a trusted delegate or board) must approve the page before the page is created. There may be a name change before the page is created. The name may be changed to fit a naming scheme, or to otherwise make for good LinkLanguage.

The RFA may say, “Well, it looks good, but make these changes in scope, before going ahead.” For example, the page may be a container for a discussion to answer some questions about rabbits: “What colors can rabbits be? How old do rabbits live?” The RFA may require the addition of, “How long are rabbit ears?” …before the conversation is approved. The person who is responsible for the conversation is then responsible for ensuring that the additional question is answered.

There would likely also be “Name” pages, where a person’s application to be a registered participant would be, and where public messages for the participant would be recorded. There might be a particular form for the page. The page would also contain honors and role designations.

There would probably also be “Date” pages, where conversation is approved by default, and revoked should the RFA (or trusted delegates, or a board, or a police force, or whatever,) decide it is appropriate. This is a space for conversation that has no appropriate other container, but must be held.

Participation in an OrderedWiki would not feel like participation in a CommunalRoom?. It is not a coffee break; It is a skunkworks. It is work, it is labor, it is an expendiature of energy,it is a decision between alternatives for strategic gain often times at personal expense, not pleasure. It is much like participation in an OpenSource project. There can be pleasure in it, but there are responsibilities beyond pleasure.

Declaration of Intent

Why am I writing this?

Don’t worry- I’m not trying to make CommunityWiki be this. I’m merely exploring an idea. If this, or something like this is enacted, it would almost certainly be enacted off of CommunityWiki.

This is an exploration of a hypothetical genre of wiki.

On the other hand, there’s nothing to prohibit us from trying small, localized forms of an ordered wiki – after all, BenevolentDictatorProcess? is a minimal, one-person, one-authority version of this.

  • I’ve noticed that this is effectively what is happening within the blikis.
  • Simply Linking via LocalNames or incorporating a block from a neighbour within the WikiHive via TransClusion also seems to solve some of the mentioned root problems.
    • This also has the added benefits of creating libraries of MicroCode blocks that I’ve found to be very efficient.

Why Make an Ordered Wiki?

It’s possible that CommunalWiki and the wiki practices of MeatballWiki and CommunityWiki are poorly suited for several of the demands that many of us would like Wiki to meet.

Some examples of failings, and the demands they are failing:

These are some of the things many of us would like to solve, but that ScratchWiki and our CommunalWiki do not seem to be able to solve.

It’s possible that an alternative CommunalWiki structure or a TechnologySolution could solve one, maybe even two of these problems, but I find it incredulous to believe that one could solve all or even just most of these problems. Not with technology available 2007-2017.

But it is clear to me that motivated people and a ManagedWiki approach can solve each and every one of these problems. We have a clear model for success in the OpenSource development model.

This really takes a wiki more towards a journal or conference or large organized group dialog process model.


I wrote this on the airplane on the way back to Seattle from Christmas vacation. I had LackOfReworking and ConversationProcess and CommunityWikiBylaws in the back of my mind.


Define external redirect: BenevolentDictatorProcess CommunalRoom

EditNearLinks: OpenSource MicroCode PageDatabase MeatballWiki