(please consider this page a draft/work in progress)


The Patterns of a WikiHive

In a recent discussion with MattisManzel on OBM Wiki Hive, we chatted about WikiHiveStructure:

First of all, this is my working generic definition of a “WikiHive” on

A WikiHive is

  1. A set of loosely-to-closely connected wikis that usually all reside on one webserver.
  2. A space that allows instant wiki creation. (See: ObmWikiCenterEn:CreateANewObmWiki? for more info).
  3. Usually based around WikiNet principles, using NearLinks, InterWiki links, SisterSites (see the bottom of any page for the same page on other sites), and other InterCommunity? tools. This helps create and coordinate a KnowledgeCommons? based on TrustedLinkLanguage, and a KnowledgeCollective? of people who share similar interests.

How Patterns Are Created

Patterns are not “created” so much as they emerge from (human) activity. While “structure” possibly implies a predetermined “routing” of activity.

Predetermined prescriptions for providing collaborative and CollectiveProblemSolving tools could be a mistake. There could be many possible WikiHivePatterns, beyond those detailed on this page. A newly founded Wiki or WikiHive might be used in a unique way, and see a completely new pattern or set of patterns, but may very well borrow many elements of patterns from existing WikiHives?, and existing wikis.

It is generally better to ReleaseEarlyReleaseOften,(or, better yet Wiki:ReleaseEasyReleaseOften) and let Patterns emerge from real world use.

Does this mean that organizing Patterns for SocialSoftware usage is a Free-for-all? No. It means that the people who use the tools, and the unique problems that they are trying to solve become part of the process of designing the way they use them.

Emerging Patterns


MattisManzel and AlexSchroeder, LionKimbro, ChristopheDucamp, MarkDilley, DavidCary, HansWobbe, KeithHopper, and many participants on the OddWiki hive worked out one of the first useful WikiHivePatterns in the OddWiki hive, which MattisManzel has been refining into the WikiCarburator model.

There are many purposes to OddWiki hive, but one main purpose is to be a MotherWiki host to pretty much all reasonable comers. So, this is a non-topical arrangement, and it’s not so important if there is much or any coordination or collaboration among participants.

TheoryBuilding/PilotProject Hive Pattern

OBM WikiHive has a bit of a different Pattern as detailed in this Transcluded page below:

The purpose of this WikiHiveStucture? is centered around TheoryBuilding and TestingTheoryThroughAction.

Pattern Elements for TheoryBuilding/PilotProject Hive Pattern

(as seen on Wiki:PatternTemplate and Pattern Elements

Name: Open TheoryBuilding/PilotProject? Hive Pattern

Problem: Knowledge about subject is scattered/fractured/closed off and proprietary, theory building, testing is scattered. Creating a WikiHive with one or several Main TheoryBuilding wikis, support wikis, and an ecology of topical, project, and personal etc wikis connected through InterWiki, NearLink, and TrustedLinkLanguage is one possible way to accelerate the development of Models, Knowledge, and Theory on the subject in a coordinated way

Context: Building Knowledge Commons around certain broad subject, and designing and carrying out tests of different theories and models


trade-offs: Wiki is CommunityTiedToOneTechnology, can be exclusionary of other VirtualCommunities? that do not use wiki. Wiki attracts spammers who waste admin time battling them.

general forces:

Solution: Create ways to effectively capture knowledge, invite people and communities to start wikis in a “hive” pattern, which allows for content to be migrated easily. TheoryBuilding wikis capture and recontextulize knowledge from the LongTail of small projects wikis in the hive when possible, or knowledge is linked through TrustedLinkLanguage NearLink, and also linked the same way when possible to other WikiCommunties? in the WikiNet. Also, seek ways to conenct WikiHive with communities not using wikis, to avoid limitations of CommunityTiedToOneTechnology.


Interested in any feedback.

A very nice start. Well done!

I’ll start shaping my MicroContent blocks so that they will fit into this structure, using TransClusion. (In the case of this CommunityWiki space, that means avoiding the use of CamelCase, since the ability to render the transcluded CamelCase as a link has not been ‘turned on’. (I know this can be done, but …). This, by the way, is one of my personal requirements for a wikiHive.)

hans, I moved this page here, because I think that “Patterns” is better than “Structure” for what I am trying to talk about above. Patterns emerge from (human) activity, while “structure” possibly implies a predetermined “routing” of activity. I think predetermined prescriptions for providing collaborative and CollectiveProblemsSolving? tools could be a mistake. So, I think there could be many WikiHivePatterns, beyond just the two I detail above. The WikiHive that HansWobbe founds might look different, and see a completely new pattern, but may very well borrow many elements of patterns from existing WikiHives?, and existing wikis.

I added a little bit about “how patterns are created” above. Everytime I design a website that is intended to be a collaborative environment, I have found that the best results have come from launching a simple version right away, and getting people in to test it and use it. I often call this test version a “mock-up”. After we have shaped and molded the mock-up through use and feedback, the people I am working with often ask “can we just use the mock-up?” And that is the secret. It never really was a “mock-up”. The “mock-up” name was there to give people psychological encouragement to use the system and play with it, without fear of “breaking”.

Patterns, no “routing”, definitely. A pitty I didn’t react on this page years back. I did not remember it. There’s some OldWisdom? in the [[community-wiki?]].

Patterns are not “created” so much as they emerge from (human) activity.

Make it possible to connect who and whatever and to let who and whatever know about who and whatever is connected to who and whatever. Let it grow in an ambiance without gravitation.

Define external redirect: CollectiveProblemsSolving KnowledgeCollective InterCommunity WikiHiveStucture CreateANewObmWiki OldWisdom KnowledgeCommons VirtualCommunities community-wiki PilotProject WikiHives WikiCommunties

EditNearLinks: LongTail CamelCase