RE: Wikis

Subject: RE: Wikis
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Chris Borokowski" <athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, <linda_sims -at- vanguard -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 15:29:46 -0600

Chris Borokowski wrote:

> Someone needs to make the final call. Leaderless projects
> only work when there are very simple requirements agreed on
> in advance, like "start a riot and burn downtown to the ground."

Agreed. And anything that needs to be maintained and organized had
better have an owner. In my experience, corporate wikis tend to suffer
from "the tragedy of the commons."

Wikipedia has very interested owners and a committed core of editors
doing constant maintenance, and they can barely keep the vandals at bay.

Lin Sims replied:

> Or, as someone on a messageboard I frequent once wrote:
> Vikings? What Vikings? We are but poor, simple
> farmers. The village was burning when we got here.


Speaking of Wikipedia, a grad student named Virgil Griffith recently
rolled out WikiScanner (, a tool for
researching who performed what page edits -- identifying the Vikings, as
it were.

For instance, someone at a BBC IP address changed the President's name
to "George Wanker Bush" and replaced the word "terrorists" with "freedom
fighters." And in corporate America, it has to be hurting productivity
that legions of employees are apparently working full-time to remove or
rewrite anything critical of their company. Check out Wired's list of
popular "Wikipedia Spin Jobs," vote for your favorites, or add your own:


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Re: Wikis: From: Chris Borokowski

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