Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Recent Changes Camp, Canberra

Hosted by the University of Canberra January 28th – 30th

Facilitator: Mark Dilley

Who else was there?

Why I wanted to be there? (video)

Wikis can be seen as a manifestation of the unconference or open space approach – people gather, craft an agenda together, and engage in the process of collective dialogue. Experts may be present, but they do not deliver sessions. Their contributions become part of the collective input in an organic process of knowledge creation.

WIKICULTURE - elements

  • 90% of edits done by 10% of the people
  • wikis are the province of volunteers – people come and go; no reward or recognition
  • assumes good faith: people will add content of value and respect individual edits/editors
  • people need permission to act – this creates a participative culture
  • wikipedia started in 2001; the first known wiki was created in 1985
  • the content people v culture people: the content people don't care about the development of community; if there is meaningful community there'll be better content surely?

Should wikis be neutral? Ie descriptive only?

Wikis are more about process, not product; yet product is what we mostly concentrate on.

I hadn’t realised just how many large scale wikis there are. To name a few:
WIKIA (topic specific), WIKIPEDIA, WIKIBOOK, WIKIEDUCATOR, WIKIVERSITY, WIKIHOW, WIKISOURCE, WIKITRAVEL, APPROPEDIA (sustainability and international development) just to name a few.

Though this session was about facilitating wikis, these strategies are applicable to most online facilitation contexts.

  • awareness of emotional content
  • read between the lines of online text
  • don't just trust your own judgement - check or test your assumptions
  • assume good faith
  • identify when people get labelled and are therefore excluded from the system (this just escalates conflict)
  • acknowledge people who want to belong to the system
  • respect everyone
  • be comfortable with conflict
  • listen to all sides of the question
  • own your own reactions
  • develop trust
A really enjoyable and enlightening few days. As essentially an end user of large scale wikis, principally Wikipedia, I had not stopped to consider the huge and complex issues that need to be addressed by mostly volunteers working for nothing behind the scenes on wikis because they simply care about them. In this light it is extraordinary that large scale wikis like Wikipedia ever happened, let alone continue to work and grow. I tip my hat to them.


Leigh Blackall said...

Now, if you've gone this long not realising how many big wikis there are, nor how incredible the experience is in being involved, then this is proof that Wikispaces is a distraction. Much like LMS'. The day I see you in there editing like a tiger, is the day I think something amazing has happened to the Cog.

Michael said...

Or....if I had been involved in editing the big wikis that might have been a distraction from creating the 50 plus wikispaces I have (co)created for educators, all of which are open and public, and many have joint contributors.....Besides as was mentioned at the RCC weekend, the learning curve is not as steep at Wikispaces. And you get the nice feeling of personal ownership - that you have STARTED something good.