This WikiAdvanceWiki is an idea that came out of the MissionStatementDiscussion.

The mission of the WikiAdvanceWiki would be something like EvanProdromou's concept MissionStatement:

The Wiki Advance Wiki is a wiki for helping wiki editors, admins, developers and outsiders understand more about how wiki works and how to make it work better. We emphasize wiki's social aspects more than its technical aspects, but we also discuss WikiTechnology where we think it affects community.
We talk about other kinds of technology, and other kinds of communities, but we mainly use these as examples to compare or contrast against wiki.

This page is still in discussion.

Major issues so far:

Discussion Summary

LionKimbro believes the goal is WikiProliferation. Lion favors WikiAdvanceWiki, but finds OneBigSoup more strategic. A list of possible interest in WikiAdvanceWiki forms: EvanPodramou?, HeatherJames, DougHolton?, ChrisAnderson, DavidCary, LionKimbro, and JeremyZimmer. Lion recommends using CommunityWiki for now, then SplitWiki after interest grows. Lion offers to setup WikiAdvanceWiki for EvanPodramou, so that he can start SeedPosting, if he'd like to.

BayleShanks proposes the MissionStatement of "This is the wiki for discussing wikis (and related social and technical patterns)." Bayle observes a gap in WikiOnWiki- MeatballWiki is too broad, and PortlandPatternRepository is as well. The new wiki should explicitely fill the gap by way of it's MissionStatement. Bayle feels WikiProliferation is a subtopic of WikiOnWiki. He feels the MissionStatement should more inclusively target wikizens. And he feels the MissionStatement above overlaps too strongly with CommunityWiki's and MeatballWiki's.

SunirShah reminds us of MuWebWeb. SunirShah feels wiki are simple, and a relatively small and simple topic. The big topic is people, a big and complex topic. There is little unique to wiki about the social interactions. When WikiOnWiki attains TargetReached, Wiki:NavelGazing can result, like on C2. If you talk about cultural issues on a broader level, you get MeatballWiki & CommunityWiki again. Talking about wiki in WikiSchool would similarly eventually become a wiki about online education. A tech focus could work, like SwitchWiki or WikiFeatures. A clear SuperordinateGoal could work. A goal like WikiProliferation, or a Wiki HowTo project to direct the proliferation.

HeatherJames feels there is room for talking about ComputerMediatedCommunication (CMC). Heather is interested in talking about education and wiki, community and wiki, and viewing it from the perspective of CMC, technology, society, democracy, and social capital. She feels that being reflective of our experience in wiki community is helpful. She thinks a dedicated WikiOnWiki would help WikiProliferation, because people unfamiliar with wiki would be able to learn about wiki, when to use it, when not to use it.

Piranha is in favor of WikiProliferation, but doesn't want to be swamped by too many wiki to keep up with. Pir would rather grow WikiAdvanceWiki from within CommunityWiki until it can SplitWiki.


Our goal is WikiProliferation.

I think that WikiAdvanceWiki will be awesome.

The only thing that makes me put on the brakes is that I'm busy working on OneBigSoup right now. I occasionally write on WikiGuide, but I only have a little energy for that.

I presently feel that OneBigSoup work is, for me, more strategic. But, I could be convinced otherwise. But, I will resist it, because I don't like to shift tasks so quickly. I've been making good progress on OneBigSoup.

I think that immediately, there is too little energy for WikiAdvanceWiki.

I can only think of two people, besides you, who have the energy for that effort right now:

I think that what would be best, for right now, would be just to carry on here as if you were already there.

CommunityWiki content is attracting people, as predicted by ContentAndCommunity. We are forging relationships. We have just met Heather and Piranha. Maybe we should go out of our way to pull ChrisAnderson into our orbit, or DougHolton?, or JeremyZimmer. (DavidCary is already here.)

From the MissionStatementDiscussion, it seems to me that the CommunityWikiSplitProposal has been accepted. When we build a substantial corpus of WikiOnWiki, we can perform both a CommunityFork and a fork of the PageDatabase. After the friendly (and likely gradual) split, some people will spend more time here, and some people will spend more time there.

That project will likely link up with things like the WikiGuide, and the InterWiki wiki, and perhaps even the MeatballLibrary?. One nice thing, is that with a clear mission and PointsOfUnity, it opens up the door to collaboration with Meatball.

But, suppose you don't want to wait- you want to create the wiki now. I can create the wiki for you, and you can seed it. I believe in IfYouBuildItTheyWillCome, because it's worked for me. But I won't be able to contribute pages right now, I don't think.


Agree with most of what you said. But I would propose a slightly different MissionStatement:

This is the wiki for discussing wikis

(or maybe, "and related social and technological patterns")


  • I think many wikizens have felt the need for a wiki about wikis. Some people thought MeatballWiki was it, but Meatball has a broader focus, doesn't want to be canonical, and is community rather than topically oriented. I hear that many are trying to reorient the PortlandPatternRepository to explicitly include this topic, but personally, I feel that "PeopleProjectsAndPatterns in SoftwareDevelopment" is already a big topic, and further, it seems difficult to refactor or to delete offtopic text over there. If this new wiki seeks to fill this gap, then stating that clearly will resonate with others.
  • Wiki on wiki is a different focus than WikiProliferation. WikiProliferation is just one subtopic of wiki on wiki.
  • Wiki on wiki is targeted at wikizens rather than at wiki leaders/hosts. Meatball already targets wiki leaders/hosts.
  • The MissionStatement that Lion suggested above has significant overlap with the mission of CommunityWiki and of MeatballWiki.

My two cents, having witnessed a few "wikis about wikis" so far (you forgot MuWebWeb, by the way).

There are good reasons to not talk about just wikis. Wikis aren't a huge topic. I mean, there is only so much you can say about a 222 character script before you're done. Wikis are meant to be simple; I'm serious when I say TikiWiki is not a wiki. It's more like a content management system. It may include a wiki as part of it, but as a whole, it's much broader.

You can talk about how they connect to one another as well, but they don't connect to one another (not like bloggers do, anyway), for whatever reason. Maybe that's changing. I've seen probably a dozen WikiMarkupStandards this year alone; which may actually mean they still aren't talking to one another.

You can also talk about how wikis are used in varying contexts, like on WikiSchool, but if you are too focused on the technology, you will miss the real issues. The real issues aren't related to wikis, but about how people interact online and for what purposes, like education in this case. I think the technology is so basic and so in the background, what people are most interested in are the people because the people are the biggest problems. I think that's actually a huge strength of wikis, since the technology works so well it isn't the problem. But it also means that there is very little social interaction universal and unique to the wiki experience to describe.

If you focus on cultural issues, but limit them to just wikis, after a short time, people talking about WikiOnWiki run of things to say that are insightful. People who continue talking often begin inventing cruft to justify the conversation, like creating a lot of WikiBadges. You may end up Wiki:NavelGazing yourself to death, as happened on c2. If you talk about cultural issues on a broader level, you will have MeatballWiki and CommunityWiki again. If you talk about them in a specific social context, like WikiSchool, you're better off creating a wiki about online education.

I do think a technical focus can work. Take SwitchWiki, for instance. For another instance, I think there needs to be a wiki that talks about the various wiki engines and compares them. WikiFeatures stands out as a good place to do that, actually.

I also think a goal-oriented focus can work. A long time ago I had to remind myself, "What do we want to achieve with wikis?" I then cut out the with wikis part to arrive back at the MeatballMission. But at least answering the first question will be better than just having a "wiki about wikis" without any SuperordinateGoal like WikiProliferation or a Wiki HowTo project to direct it. – SunirShah

I feel there may be many resources for discussing community forming, dicussing online relations. But there is still room to explore CMC (computer mediated communication) at large. Yet, I also think that wikis are a special form of CMC, and I also have a need to talk/read/think specifically about that, as I am exploring using wikis for learning. I want to reflect on the mistakes I've recently made with wiki, and I don't know where to put it all. Having it here on my machine, and talking with my colleagues who don't grok wiki (yet) is not helping me.

Primarily, I think the wiki conversation is under-explored… So I can imagine a space where the conversation looks at wiki community specifically, but in the context of CMC at large: in the wider context of technology, society, democracy, social capital, etc.

The reason we can talk about wiki-community effectively is because this is one, and we can be self-reflexive, and observe our own participation in this environment. I think getting more reflective might be very helpful: for forming, for understanding.

Also, I think this concerns WikiProliferation inasmuch as people who are unfamiliar with wiki environments could get more familiar with how they work- and be able to understand the best way to apply wiki, in addition to where not to apply wiki. I don't fully agree with the WikiProliferation idea that everything should be a wiki. I think communication tools are in constant development, and wiki is one iteration of the self-publishing web, and it may not be the appropriate one for everyone, in every situation.

It's a common misconception that WikiProliferation includes the idea that everything should be a wiki. I've just changed the page to help clear it up. If you have advice, it will be appreciated.LionKimbro

as funny as this may sound, since i am mostly in favour of WikiProliferation, i know i won't be able to contribute to yet another wiki. i am already watching too many as it is, and i am losing energy doing so, which is always a sign that i need to ratched my concentration back onto fewer things. also … hm. where to put this best? well, i'll put it here and if it fits better elsewhere somebody can move it. i do believe in IfYouBuildItTheyWillCome, but i know from my gardening work that just scattering seeds does not necessarily a beautiful garden make. the garden also needs attention; watering, pruning, fertilization, thought as to what to plant together. and for a plant to thrive, it needs to grow strong before reproducing, and better seeds come from healthy plants. :) ergo, i am intuitively, and from past usenet experience, drawn to growing something within an existing community until it's large and healthy enough to be split off. unless the seed is contentious, but that doesn't seem to me the case here. so, i'd be much happier talking about this sort of thing here for now. (not that that should keep anyone else. just saying :).

  • I agree with SunirShah. We need to create WikiOnWiki with SuperordinateGoals?. Though, I'm not sure that a simple WikiOnWiki would so-quickly exhaust WikiOnWiki. I've looked at the MuMuWeb?, and notice that they are missing a lot of ideas on wiki that we have discovered. Did they really exhaust WikiOnWiki? I doubt it. But it's quite plausible that they limited their minds at the particular time in history.
  • HeatherJames: Somehow, it seems to me that you and DougHolton? would be working together on the wiki, after reaching a critical mass. Perhaps we should try to get DougHolton? to come here, to build mass? But perhaps interests are too divergent. Perhaps we should just work on the coedit wiki.
  • I am thinking more and more, that we need a wiki with the SuperordinateGoal of assisting online self-organizing. It just happens that wiki is one of the most powerful mediums for doing so, and so I confuse the two. But there is a skill and a way to self-organizing, and it can and should and will be communicated. EvanPodramou? and ChrisAnderson and JeremyZimmer might be interested, so might MarkDilley and DavidCary. This leans more in the "Democracy" and "OpenSpace" direction. (Notice the similarity between OpenSpaceTechnology and wiki.) I also believe this has major implications for Free Software development. It also connects with things like the GroupForming? group. (Which, sadly, seems pretty disorganized to me. But maybe I'm just not reading the right place.) This is where I go off about the HiveMind.
  • I think one of the major SuperordinateGoals? that online communities can persue is the construction of TrustedLinkLanguage (see LinkLanguage, for now,) and the servicing that goes on behind them. I believe that OneBigSoup's "IntComm:GroupServer" will come in time to meet the need to automatically govern TrustedLinkLanguage. Which will be nice. Already, we have something like this effort forming at WikiGuide?, (, though it hasn't formalized yet.

Lion! That cleared up wiki proliferation for me. Very much. I had spent some time that day answering some q's at Wiki:ChoosingaWiki, so I had a knee-jerk reaction.

But your re-writing moved things along nicely for me. And boom, I had a deep thought: How does it work? I mean how does it really work? See HowWikiWorks

Re: Co-edit, I'm confused over there, and sent same to Doug. The old edtech has been dispersed, it feels like to me. Anywho, I'm not 100% sure on what the aims/goals are at this mo. Alas. I have some reflections to share about my recent experiment. Eek.

I think all of these variant ideas should have their own wikis :)

I believe in narrowly, topically-focused wikis. Of course, this is experimental; we haven't yet found the right way to build and connect these kinds of wikis. But hey, we just started trying.

Re: Sunir's concern that there is not much to say about WikiOnWiki. That's fine. In fact, I think that that may be a good way of telling if a topically-focused wiki is narrow enough.

I think we need to develop a mode of writing (and connecting together) topically-focused wikis which can survive TargetReached. Each topic would be so narrow that each topically focused wiki might not have much traffic after awhile. But we should make it so that that is okay.

Here's one proposal: HubAndSpokeWikis.

Since this discussion sort of died out, let's summarize the conclusion. I think the conclusion was either this:

  • Some of us would love to see a wiki for WikiOnWiki discussion, or a wiki for advancing wiki and WikiProliferation. However, we don't have the energy to split our attentions right now. We're going to keep having these discussions here on CommunityWiki, and eventually as they grow too large we'll split off that part of the wiki into a separate wiki, a la HubAndSpokeWikis.

or it was this:

  • Great, let's do it. Okay, we're just waiting around here for someone to start it….

Let's put one of these at the top of this page to explain things for readers.

I guess I'm using CommunityWiki to document my ideas of how to use wikis, amongst other things. I'm with option 1: Use CommunityWiki now, split later if the need arises.

I agree; I'm in camp 1 as well; I agree with the HubAndSpokeWikis model. SplitWiki is just too hard, it seems.


Define external redirect: DougHolton WikiGuide SuperordinateGoals MuMuWeb GroupForming EvanPodramou MeatballLibrary

EditNearLinks: WikiOnWiki CommunityFork WikiTechnology MeatballMission ComputerMediatedCommunication PeopleProjectsAndPatterns WikiMarkupStandard PortlandPatternRepository ScienceOfWiki SeedPosting MuWebWeb PageDatabase OpenSpaceTechnology SoftwareDevelopment JeremyZimmer SunirShah SwitchWiki TargetReached ChrisAnderson MeatballWiki WikiBadge TikiWiki