Lessons from Wikipedia

Jerry —  July 3, 2011 — 6 Comments

Remember the monolith at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey? Wikipedia is a bit like that. Seemingly overnight, this gleaming monolithic being has sprouted in our midst.

It’s the seventh most viewed site? It has over 3.6 million pages in English? All done without venture capital? Crazy!

Wikipedia tells us a few things about where we are as a society. Here’s my take; I’d love to hear yours.

Many thanks to Jay Cross for the video work!



6 responses to Lessons from Wikipedia

  1. Inspired from your thoughts: As I consider the need for establishing culture/boundaries for other social environments, I may start using a new term. What say you: “Pediaocracy” or “Wikiocracy”?

  2. Paula, thank you.

    “Pediaocracy” sounds unfortunate, even before anyone’s used it. “Wikiocracy” seems parallel to Wikinomics and also Working Wikily.

    A recent post in a small mailing list turned me on to the work of Gerard Fairtlough, which seems to be relevant here. Have you seen his book, The Three Ways of Getting Things Done?

    Also, notions of polycentricity and panarchy come to mind. This feels like a bigger discussion :)

  3. Great lessons here. But do you think ‘freedom’ might be a pre-requisite for such self organizing trust worthy relationships to develop?

  4. Hi Dibyendu. Thanks for commenting.

    What kind of freedom do you mean? There’s plenty of controversy around the Chinese Wikipedia. I’m not familiar with what’s happening with Indian versions (I assume there are several, for the major language groups), especially relative to politics with Bangladesh. Can you say a bit more (without endangering your freedom)?

    In part, we take freedom. We make it. All this by participating in places that have relatively free rules of governance. Wikipedia and Open Source projects are good examples.

  5. “I’m looking forward to an educational institution that actually thinks of Wikipedia as a body of work that is connected to and is trying to improve its students education”.

    I’m a grad student at UC Berkeley working with an undergraduate journal to create an open publication model that uses crowd-sourced review and a diversity of roles to make the conversation of science accessible to all ages and backgrounds. I love your take on Wiki and it’s a vision I (and many others) share very much. I’m curious about your REXpedition chats and would love to join. Best, ~b~

  6. Thanks Jerry, inspiring as always.

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