WikiArchy (ThoughtStorms)

(This triggered by discussion in EmergentDemocracyAndTheAntiWarMovement)

What would a Wikiarchy be? A place where any interested group who wanted to form a college could sign up and get a wiki

(which members of the college could post to). This college would be able to use the wiki any way that suited them. To structure their discussion however they liked. However, only one page of the collegial wiki would be visible outside the group. This page would be where the college would have to distil their discussion into a unified point of view for presentation outside.

Centrally, there'd be another wiki, comprised of each of these collegial public pages, and with some housekeeping managed by the central gatekeepers. These people would have no editing rights over the collegial public pages, but would have the power to make supplimentary clarifying and indexing pages. They would have a high level control over the structure of the overall wiki, but coupled with a powerlessness due to the recognition that they represented only themselves. (Perhaps colleges could be obliged to publish the number of members, so readers of the central wiki would know how much weight was behind each of the colleges.)

Q : but isn't this top level just a collection of static(ish) pages. How is it wiki? Could colleges edit other college's pages?

A : Yes. But through a very specific mechanism which, inspired by TedNelson, I'll call a transclusion request. College X can add to it's public page, a macro which says something like add this paragraph to college Y's public page. The central wiki then transcludes the

paragraph onto college Y's page. If college Y doesn't like it, then they can remove the insert.

Q : Sounds convoluted, what's the point?

A : If we let anyone personally add anything to college Y's page, then we lose the hierarchical structure and the idea of colleges altogether. It just becomes a standard wiki free-for-all. If we don't let people change college Y's page at all, we've lost the wiki benefits. Given that what appears on college X's public page is meant to represent the common opinion of the college. (however arrived at), a transclusion request macro on college X's public page represents an agreed desire to add a comment to college Y's page.

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See also :

CategoryWiki, CategoryPolitics, CategorySocialSoftware