Talk:Wiki science

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Edit History[edit]

This was clogging up the talk page with uneeded information. Here, please see Talk:Wiki Science/Edit History for the page. --~~Goldenburg111 20:31, 9 January 2014 (UTC)


This site seems like it might be the best (existing) place to put information about starting/running a Wiki. Does anybody object or have better ideas? Thanks, --Rs2 17:31, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea to me. I'd love to learn more about that subject and would welcome the development of related content here. If a more suitable spot later became to our attention it would not be difficult to move the content there. --Karl Wick

I think overcapitalisation should be avoided. Does anybody object if I start decapitating? ;) Akagu 15:17, 5 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article on wikis explains the difference between the Wiki and the wikis. :) Akagu 00:10, 15 May 2004 (UTC)

I've been dumping my thoughts on running a wiki at Community Wiki, before I discovered this _Wiki Science_ book.

I'd be happy to move my text from

to this _Wiki Science_ book. (Feel free to move my text over yourself, being careful to leave a forwarding link behind).

I've been told that for a long time people have been trying to move WikiOnWiki pages from the original wiki to MeatBall. I suspect there's still relevant morsels on both wiki.

-- DavidCary 17:37, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

"Wiklossary: A simple concise glossary of wiki terms for the new wiki user."

I just did a couple of things:

  • created and added a msg to all the pages
  • decapitalized many (but not all..) terms
  • copied content of some very modules to bigger ones

I think it is good to avoid creating very small pages that probably never be more than something between a Wikipedia and Wiktionary term. So it's probably good to write an introduction that introduces the reader to many terms that can pop up and to things as a wiki, Wikipedia, Wikibooks... Akagu 00:53, 15 May 2004 (UTC)


Is is science or is it the unsupported opinion of 3 or 4 people? And before you ask, yes there's a difference. -- Tim Starling 08:50, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure what your point is, Tim. I see no reason why there cannot be a scientific study of Wiki. How is a new area of science started? People who are interested in the object to be studied start sharing their views, looking for ways to make objective observations, and by a social process of challenging views, observations, and conclusions a new science defines itself. JWSurf 18:58, 24 May 2004 (UTC)
A new area of science is started by writing papers, not textbooks. My point is that you're confusing fact with opinion. -- Tim Starling 00:57, 25 May 2004 (UTC)
If you explain more clearly what bothers you we might get a bit further. I myself still feel ambivalent towards some texts in Wiki Science, but I have the idea it might get somewhere. That's why I've added Wiki Science:Wikiresearch.
On the longer run it's good to move this project from Wikibooks to something else (Wikiresearch?), but for now Wikibooks seems like the right place to do it. Akagu 11:54, 25 May 2004 (UTC)

I think that a scientific study of why Wikis work could be absolutely fascinating. However, what is currently here is sort of the opposite: it's written in the form of "if you do it, they will come: it's magic!" What would be interesting is a case study of a successful Wiki (Wikipedia is the most obvious candidate), and an analysis of how it can accomplish such amazing things. Find out:

  • how many people are involved, and how that number changes over time
  • their usage patterns: how much time are they spending per day/week/month, how consistent is their use, and what kind of work flow do they follow?
  • what kind of expertise they bring to the table, and how often they are working within their expertise?

Wikis as a whole are so anonymous that the whole thing can seem like magic. But there are obviously mundane people involved, spending finite amounts of time doing commonplace things. *That* is where a scientific study (along the lines of social sciences) could be enlightening. A "HOWTO mimic the actions of other Wikipedia founders and admins" is not science. --Habes 22:13, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

You are right. Thanks for finding and writing down the words :)
Could you please start a page about it? Or shall I copy your comments and go from there? Possibly people who worked on Wikipedia:Size of Wikipedia] can be interested to join here?
Part of the Wiki Science pages can be moved to another Wikibook project, Practical Wiki Info or something like that? Akagu 20:26, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I'm afraid I'm not much of a Wiki participant at the moment, I'm just watching from the sidelines. You're free to run with my ideas if you think they're good. I'm somewhat skeptical that a coherent study of Wikis can be created using the Wiki model, but then again I would have been skeptical that somethink like Wikipedia was possible. Likewise, I would be inclined to think that a study like this should be left to people with experience in social science, but expertise seems to appear frequently in Wiki communities.
To sum up, I'm skeptical that using a Wiki is the best approach to studying the Wiki phenomenon, but I'm willing to be proven wrong. --Habes 18:43, 4 Jun 2004 (UTC)

A "HOWTO mimic the actions of other Wikipedia founders and admins" is not science.

What are you trying to say here ? What is science ?

I want my wiki to be successful.

  • Are you saying that so far my actions merely mimic a few superficial features -- it's a "Wikipedia:cargo cult" ?

I guess I would agree -- I don't really *know* why I'm doing these things, I'm just *hoping* they will work.

Please teach me more about the scientific reality of the truly important features. Or at least don't stand in my way while I try to find out.

  • Are you saying that building a successful wiki is not science, there's so little known that it's more of a hit-and-miss art ?

I guess I would agree -- but that doesn't stop me from *hoping* there are some scientific principles, and trying to learn them, does it ? I want to hit more often and miss less often -- perhaps I can learn useful heuristics long before a proper science is hammered out.

  • Are you saying methods of building a successful wiki are so well known that it's not science, it's merely engineering and technology to set up a wiki properly and, if you follow the rules, it is guaranteed to work ?

Well, I *wish* that will someday be true, but I'm pretty sure it's not true yet.

-- DavidCary 03:42, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)

You should have more information on the following:

  1. The History of Wiki's
  2. The different types of wikis and wikisoftware
  3. A description of the different policies and structures of wikis e.g. whether they allow editing by anyone, whether they have a discussion page etc
  4. A good description and analysis of the Wikipedia
    1. including a description of the factors that allowed it to grow so quickly
    2. the importance of the discussion page
    3. the social norms of the wikipedia
    4. how article quality is maintained
    5. NPOV
    6. How these ideas can be generalized to consider other types of generic systems of collaboration and what would be necessary to make them successful

I say this because the intro includes very little information on these topics and it is my view that a number of chapters should be written about just the history of the wikis, the wikipedia, and the underlying ideas or philosopy of the wikipedia that explains its success. In other words we need something similar to the Bazaar and the Cathedral except for wikis instead of open source.

I think the terms Wiki Science and Wiki Research are not defined well. First, most paragraphs/posts don't seem to distinguish between Wikipedia Research and Wiki Research. Both are very different as Wikipedia has distinct properties that won't apply, say, to a corporate Intranet software wiki. Then, I don't agree with the science/research definition given. Wiki Science probably means the Science of Wikis, and Wiki Research probably means research about wikis.

Two things I think are wrong here. First, in most definitions, science and research is about novel results. Second, the definition of Wiki Science is overly specific. Ad (1), mainly recounting how wikis work would not be science, it would largely be a rewrite of other pages. (Very worthwile though!) Ad (2) research into uses of wikis should certainly part of a general definition, but how to grow a wiki is too specific a thing to make it into the top defining sentence, in my opinion.

I'd propose something like "Wiki Science is the research into applications, technology, processes, and consequences of using wikis", and then split this up. I found this page as the chair of WikiSym 2005 which also showcases how varied wiki research can be. 17:32, 26 September 2005 (UTC) (This should be Dirk Riehle, looks like I'm not logged in.)

The team[edit]

Please add your name to the following list if you plan on contributing the Wiki Science investigation, as encapsulated by the "Wiki Science:" namespace:

Peer-Reviewed Research on Wikis[edit]

We should probably try to compile a bibliography of what research on wikis has been published in peer-reviewed journals. It is possible to publish in wiki format. --JWSurf 19:45, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Public vs. Private[edit]

Thusfar, this book talks about public wikis and primarily Wikimedia as the sole model. Meanwhile most wiki use is behind the firewall. Wikipedia is an exception.

Also, is this a science?

Original research[edit]

The text looks like original research. If it is original research, it has no place on Wikibooks, per WB:WIW. It clearly is not an instruction manual. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:21, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Google search for "wiki science" shows that the term is dubious. Number of hits: 27,500. Also revealing is the search at Google scholar with its 16 hits, mostly of the form "wiki/Science", referring to an article on "Science" at Wikipedia. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:28, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, at least part of the content actually features instructions, such as the Wiki Science/How to start a Wiki chapter. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:44, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Focus - blurred[edit]

IMHO the book has an unclear focus. For instance, there is quite useful instruction manual Wiki Science/How to Start a Wiki, which once has been a separate book. And there are some philosophically sounding chapters such as "Self-healing", which refer to a wiki website as if it were an agent.

The quality of content varies drastically among chapters.

As a clean up measure, a book of instructions on wikis in general could be created, focusing only on instructions to the exclusion of speculation, coinages of new terms and original research. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:14, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I have moved the chapter on starting a wiki to Starting and Running a Wiki Website, to enable focusing this book on speculation, coinage of new terms, case studies, and similar content that has not the character of instructions. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:30, 15 September 2008 (UTC)