Wikis and Community

Shelley Powers started a Wiki last year that I thought had a terrific concept behind it. The effort never really took off and it has been beset by spamers and vandals. She shares some thoughts:

Lesson Two learned: One backup is not enough.

Lesson One learned: wikis updated by the general public only work if there’s enough people interested in helping to maintain it to offset the spammers, trolls, and script kiddies. In other words, the only viable public wiki is Wikipedia.

And from her comments:

True a wiki can work if you have a strongly engaged community willing to maintain it. But I think you have to start with the community and then add the wiki.

Read more in “Scorching in the IT Kitchen”

I’m feel terrible I never got around to contributing. Has it been a year already?

Salon inching towards profitablilty?

Big news if true from Wired – “Salon’s Balancing Act”.

More at Philly Future on two related Jeff Jarvis posts in which he defines the news editor “of the future” (hint – it’s already here!) and of possible business models to support news reporting.

Relevant quote from Wired article:

…whether there is a subscription requirement or a Site Pass, there is still a wall around Salon’s content — and that means the blogosphere ignores it. Without this persistent cross-linking, relatively few read its words, and as history is being made — or Googled — every day, Salon’s footsteps in cyberspace become fainter and fainter.

Salon’s experience is important to this discussion. Once you lose mind share – people stop talking about you. Salon needs to get it back somehow because the digerati are overlooking what are probably a host of lessons already learned. At least their stories don’t fall into a for pay archive and break permanent URLs.

OJR included Salon in a roundtable on the future of magazines. via Jeff Jarvis.

The power of a network derives from its nodes – the power of the web derives from people

Fundable is an interesting web service that lets groups of people pool money to raise funds or make purchases. The tool takes advantage of the distributed nature of the web and reminds me of one of the seven habits – “Win/Win or No Deal”. If goals aren’t reached – everyone gets their money back.

Lets see…

* Have a trip you need to finance that your community might chip in for?

* Have a non-profit you want to send money to that deserves more than what you alone could send?

* Have an event you need to fund but have no idea where to get the money?

The list goes on and on….

Now read the whole thing: “The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster”

Matthew Frederick Davis Hemming has kindly made available his entire work of fan fiction (some of the best I’ve read – fun and thought provoking all at once) chronologically as html and pdf. Check it out.

Arrived at the Death Star. Spent the day in meetings. I need a stiff drink.

Whether or not history appreciates the fact I am more than just a tyrannical dark overlord — I’m also an engineer. So my first meeting upon stepping into the landing hangar from my shuttle was with the chiefs of all of the station’s operational divisions, the victim of long multimedia presentations from each department detailing their progress, expenditures, and time-table for task completion.

I fell asleep for a while, but nobody could tell because of my masque.

The bottom line is that, with the exception of one department, every system promises to be one hundred percent for tomorrow’s big test. The chief of the errant division was apologetic, but I was unimpressed. He said, “We’ll have the internal security sensors operational before the week is out, of that much I can assure you with nearly full confidence, Lord Vader.”

“That is insufficient.”

He shrugged and shook his head. “What can I say? Good, fast, or cheap: pick two.”

I pointed my gloved hand at him and he began struggling for air. He clawed at his throat, his eyes bulging as he slid off his seat and hit the floor. He convulsed briefly before the final stillness. “You’re fired,” I said.