Discussion regarding WikiTing.

HelmutLeitner is about to start something very similar to the WikiTing on GründerWiki:GründerWikiEntscheidungen?. I think there should be a common ting and two local tings. We should start, WikiTingDiscussion.

three things – what do you mean with "you do not chat, you talk out"? say it in german? and, why is it important that new things are written on top of the page? and, probably most importantly, who forms the ting? is everyone who participates in the wiki a member, or is there a subset?

four things, just to clarify: you want the wiki ting to be a gathering where important wiki-wide decisions are made, yes? could you give a couple examples, so this is clearer to newcomers?

You feel the difference, pir?
Helmut is thinking about the commonly proposed advices for an adequate behaviour on GründerWiki. We should work togeher. Man schwatzt nicht, man spricht auf.

(these first three contributions were originally written on WikiTing in reverse sequence)

yeah, i feel the difference, and i don't like it. :) (i also don't like top-posting in email and on usenet; it's not conducive to the way i process information.) so, explain to me why you think posting on top is important to you in this case?

[en] I think the idea of the Thing is not Wiki! Wiki lives from being asynchronous. Consensus emerges. The Thing worked for the original Scandanavian societies because there was a recognised group of Elders/Judges/Leaders before whom any Freeman could bring a case. All Freemen could hear the case, and judge of its merits under the guidance of the expert elders. Top posting seems to be a way of trying to have the newest information on top of the page. Surely the WikiWay to do this would be to take old cases to a (closed) new page when decisions have been made? Then only open cases would be on the page, and could be handled in a more intuitive way with newer information towards the bottom. --AonghusOhAlmhain

I read MeatBall:NjalsSaga last year, and the Thing seemed to be a crude thing: An excellent attempt at channeling violence and revenge, but I'm sure we can do better today. For example, the mechanisms of DirectDemocracy as used in Switzerland allow for a law-making process, and provides hooks for the population to influence the process: You can make amendments to the constitution and you can veto new laws. (You cannot propose new laws, which is one of the things lacking, I think.)

What is I feel is lacking, I guess, is the connection of a WikiTing in whatever form to real politics. Because politics is the way the world is ruled.

[de] Eben. In den Sagen (die uebrigens wahrscheinlich tatsaechliche Ergebnisse idealisieren) war ein Ting wichtig. Aber braucht Wiki so was? Wuerde ein Ting SchwierigeTeilnehmer? weniger schwierig machen? Wer uebernimmt die Rolle der Aeltesten? Ich finde, die Wikis die solche Probleme am besten bewaeltigt haben, sind jene, die nur wenig derartige struktur aufweisen. Why ist gescheitert, andstuff nicht. (Ausser das Scott von sich aus aufhoert). Wiki erlaubt es, dass Konsensus aus dem Teilnehmerkreis entsteht. – AonghusOhAlmhain

I feel in some way misinterpreted by Mattis, so I'll add a few words. I don't know whether the Ting can be a symbol or a model for what can happen in online communities, I don't use the term Ting, I just talk about decisions. I'm with piranha, the way of posting is unimportant, the who and the what are important. Wikis tend to avoid responsibilities and to nag at their (benevolent?) dictators. The who needs a kind of "elders" or "members" and creates a boundary and a need for decisions in itself. The what is open for discussion: one can start to decide about the members and logo and layout, continue with the licence and end in a constitution for a society. One can push away the need for such decisions, but not for more than a few years - it means to push away the exploration of solutions to a necessary (democratic?) process. Many wikis will need a workable process, an open university will need it too. That's it. I'm just starting to explore the terrain and I'm waiting for people willing to take that responsibility as GründerWiki members and work through the related problems seriously. – HelmutLeitner

i've talked with Mattis in IRC about this, and understand better what he's after.

1) his idea of using reverse order was just meant to impress on people that the ting isn't supposed to be for chatter. i think that peer pressure can easily take care of that. also, Aonghus's suggestion of moving old material to another page would seem to me to keep the WikiTing in good working order.

2) he doesn't want a ting made up of "elders", he thinks everyone who wants to participate in the ting should be able to, and that it's not so much about the ting making decisions, but about everyone listening to what the ting comes up with, developing trust in the ting's advice. i hope this makes sense to everyone else; it does to me. it's different from Helmut's idea of having a group of people making decisions for the wiki, much more loose, and without actual power.

i concur with Helmut that it's probably necessary in the long run to have a democratic process to handle important decisions for wikis, but i am also one of those people who tends to put off working on that until it forces itself on me. wry grin. especially in a place like CommunityWiki, which seems to me to function very well right now without either a benevolent dictator who's getting nagged, nor any decision-making body. do note that i think any organization will need this though as it grows, sooner or later. maybe that makes Mattis' idea a good one – the ting won't have decision power, but it can practice becoming wise. :)

Wisdom may grow from any wiki page, so that seems trivial to me. Mattis is guided by a noble goal: any system should be open for any person and any topic. But this will hinder the progress from dictatorship to communal decision processes. If you neither trust the group (that you don't know) nor the process (that has to be developed), then a weak dictator may look more attractive, although this preference is absurd. Mattis doesn't trust democracy either, so this makes more sense. I would suggest to redesign the democratic process (call it whatever you like) in the online space. One may need rules like "anyone affected by a decision must be allowed to participate in the decision process". This is far beyond the democracy we are used to. – HelmutLeitner

The reason I mentioned Elders is that I believe that in any group which goes beyond a certain size elders will emerge either informally or formally. Also, in the context of Wiki I think questions of form are best left to the host (who has to implement them), preferably with some means of petition and discussion. Questions of content, I feel, are settled by the mechanism of Wiki itself; as long as the host maintains a light hand - defining the broad scope, rather than acting as Editor-in-Chief. – AonghusOhAlmhain

we all are freemen. a decision is made, if all have the same opinion about a special question. wenn es zu keinem konsensus kommt, mag die mitte des baumes entscheiden (an stelle von elders/judges/leaders/benevolent dictators oder was auch immer). können wir uns vielleicht darauf einigen? (würde natürlich bedeuten, dass alex und Aonghus dem baum beitreten :-))--sigi

Und ich denke, das das so oder so geschehen wird. Leute werden kommen und gehen. Die aktiven werden kern des baumes sein. – AonghusOhAlmhain

noch sinnvoller wäre die relative mitte. z.b. wenn sich mattis und ich nicht über eine gemeinsame bank buchung einigen können, dass wir dann pir hinzuziehen, weil wir beide eine baumverbindung zu ihm haben. --sigi

The host isn't stuck with implementing changes in a CommunityProgrammableWiki

:Won't that lead to FormatWars?? I don't think that would be a good idea. Form should change slowly - best done by a benevolent despot with a court of appeal! – AonghusOhAlmhain

i should first say that i have no personal experience with wikis that are programmable by the whole community, but i don't see how that would lead inevitably to format wars. just like a wiki being editable by anyone who comes by doesn't lead inevitably to edit wars. :)

of course another alternative to the single benevolent despot who might get nagged to death would be to have a whole group of them, and to DevolvePower to anyone who is capable of programming. – piranha

I was thinking of high membership wikis, which rarely escape an EditWar. But EditWars can be contained. FormatWar?s would simultaneously affect all pages of a Wiki as they are viewed. This would be ugly! Some kind of configuration control is good, in this case. No time for more now, must come back to this. – AonghusOhAlmhain

[de]habe gerade verwundert festgestellt, dass es das WikiTing in einer speziellen form hier bereits gibt. und dass es sogar benutzt wird. es ist der Blog button, der am unteren ende jeder seite zu finden ist. nette idee, das datum automatisch zu erzeugen. leider nur für blogger sofort verständlich. für anfänger erst mal ein weiteres rätsel. eigentlich ist ja jede öffentliche diskussion, die etwas betrifft, was alle angeht, ein WikiTing. natürlich kann man auch anregungen geben oder vorschläge machen (Blog butten), die dann bei genügend interesse auf einer eigenen seite weitergeführt werden (beim Blog button aus bequemlichkeit meist aber unter dem betreffenden datum bleiben).

[en]i have just been surprised by finding out that there is already a WikiTing in a special form here, and that it's actually being used. that is the Blog button, found in the footer of each page. it's a nice idea to create the date automatically. alas it's only immediately understandable for bloggers, but for newcomers it's at first a mystery. in effect every public discussion about issues concerning everyone is a WikiTing. obviously one can make proposals and suggestions (Blog button), which can be moved to their own page if there is enough interest (with the Blog button most will likely stay under the respective date, due to convenience)

Tingmeetings (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland) where the golden rule is that there is no rules. But anyway we have to discuss about people smoking cigarettes, every year, endless discussions. Another discussion that comes every year is "What language to speak in the circle?" - hmm - In Skandinavia most of our languages is a bit alike, and most of us understand each others native language. Some folks say: We should use our native language in the circle, instead of the main language is english. Nearly everybody agreed in that until a Finnish guy stood up and held a speech in Finnish (Finnish is VERY different than the other skandinavian languages) - That was the end of the discussion that year, and we continued speaking english - But every year the discussion starts again!

Tingmeetings in skandinavia have been going on for 20 years now. Original the "Ting" was on Iceland some hundred years ago. In my country (DK) our gowernment is called: FolkeTING?. Practicaly in the old days and at the 'new' ting we sit in a circle and the 'speeaking-right' goes around in the circle (following the sun) - Nobody interrupts the speaker, and the speaker himself desides when he is finished, and pass the 'speakingright' to his left. We have adapted to use a 'talkingstick' from the rainbow movement. It gives a nice focus, and you can see who haves the 'speaking-right' even if the speaker is not talking (You dont have to talk to speak!). The result of using this way of discussing is very effective for settling serious matters - But not for debating who to take the disches. Every ting is gonna be alright. --/sEi

Sounds delicious! Who are theese fablous "we". Is there a URL?

We are us, you and them! - Not much info on the net - here is some but some pages are restricted access - And that is OK, because the Tingmeeting thing is not a public rave but goes from mouth-to-ear. Hard to understand, but needed! - If anyone is interested in getting in contact with the ting - There is a hotmail account with VERY up to date stuff - Then please contact me and i send you the annoying sEcReT login data, and with love even. (manvis(at) – sEi

Anyhow. We should give the ting thing a new try using MoonEdit (+ VoiceOverInternetProtocol). The TransporterRoom takes you there.

I'm still not sure about the term ting:

What's nice about it is that it is so short. There could be TopicTings? for example.


Define external redirect: TopicTings SchwierigeTeilnehmer FormatWars FolkeTING WikiCourtroom GründerWikiEntscheidungen FormatWar

EditNearLinks: EditWar DevolvePower