Wiki gardening and IRC

Project Atom has really taken wikis to a new dimension, I think. For the first time, a wiki is being used as the main collaboration environment for building a project publically. Whether the project fails or succeeeds is actually irrelevant - I think the main contribution from the Atom Project is the way of working - and the realization that it actually is possible to build an open standard in such a way.

Another in the stream of innovations that is flowing from the Atom Wiki is the concept of WikiGardening and how it should be done. I've previously complained how mid-size wikis become eventually unmanageable unless they grow big enough to attract WikiGardeners. In retrospect it is obvious that IRC is the solution - this is one way IRC and Wikis again complement each other; one is a transient information exchange, while the other is a repository of knowledge. You could say that IRC is very useful as the "backchannel" of a Wiki. Wikis are much more about communities than WebLogs, and IRC is a very powerful community creator. For example, most of the heavy users and gardeners on also hang in the channel. So much, in fact, that if I ever take the wiki down for more than a couple of seconds, the channel WILL be filled with "What's wrong? I need my wiki!" messages. Someone even once told me that I have no right to take the wiki away, because "it now belongs to us". Obviously, knowing the r00t passwords to the server I have a slight advantage in this discussion. :-)

It remains to be seen what else can be done by combining wikis and IRC. I think it's a good concept; having done one small project where we used a chat and a wiki simultaneously to make a quick hack, I can say that it was the most comfortable way of working with people that are all across the globe that I have seen yet. There's some discussion already on JSPWiki:IdeasInstantMessagingWiki.

Anyway, we'll be trying this on #jspwiki in the near future. It's a high time that we got the wiki cleaned... I am not expecting a big rush of eager people, but if we could do something with a few individuals, it would be cool. See JSPWiki:WikiGardener.


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"Main_blogentry_120803_4" last changed on 12-Aug-2003 19:11:30 EEST by JanneJalkanen.