Table or wiki?

February 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

What matters is what you do with it... (Kyle Walton/flikr)

It all depends what you do with it... (Kyle Walton/flikr)

As a little addendum to the previous post, here’s a nice little critique of the wiki as wunder participation fix from Bruce Hoppe at Connectedness.

And it’s a nice summary of the thing I was trying to say, but only waffled about: When do online networks turn into “true” communities? Things with trust, resilience, problem-solving capacity and other-regarding behaviour?

The amateur social psychologist in me is thinking: it matters how a network makes you feel about yourself and other people. And that’s got to be part of the answer.

Hoppe reckons something similar, though he’s less worried by participation inequality being a consequence of that than me, I think. He takes Clay Shirky up on his “internet is the best thing since the table for collaboration” thesis on that basis, partly because tables predate writing and it’s factually dubious. But also, what *can’t* you do with a table? Tables are just a piece of furniture; what matters is what you do with them, who’s at them, where you put them, who’s sitting next to you…

And I’m intrigued to know – which do you reckon comes first in a healthy community; the wiki or the table? The relationship or the idea?


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Where Is Everybody? i have always relied on the kindness of strangers…

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