Ideas for how to help the wiki grow and be useful

From Yochai Benkler - Wealth of Networks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Help this Wiki grow

Integrate full text with Wiki

"In certain ways, a wiki is of course the ideal format for such a project, allowing as it does for multiple, collaborative authorship and a relatively boundless expansion. But the wiki seems also to maintain a separation between the primary text and its related paratexts -- here are the static PDFs from which the author speaks, and here are the malleable wiki pages on which readers chime in. How might we imagine bringing those voices into closer conversation?"
* Kathleen Fitzpatrick [1]
  • For this to be truly useful, the full text of the book should be integrated with the wiki. Let's put the book's theories into practice.

Non-editable pages in a wiki

  • The issue of full integration with a wiki version of the full text does, however, raises some interesting methodological issues concerning wiki spaces and published documents, as there would appear to be a legitimate need to maintain a true copy of the original text that would however allow the inclusion of Wiki links - i.e. for concepts, people, etc. This would either require extreme vigilance and/or special user privileges for users who have agreed to limit editing of the original text to the addition of Wiki links.
  • The discovery or establishment of such a procedure would be of value in a number of other contexts, including in Wikipedia and the broader context of access to knowledge, and would allow, for example, the inclusion of the text of global agreements, conventions, treaties, etc, to be embedded in a Wiki environment without jeopardizing the integrity of the document.

Use of illustrations

  • It would be great to have the book's illustrations available for commentary.
  • The illustrations are now available as remote images, through use of their URLs, as the file upload feature is currently disabled for this Wiki space. If yiou want to add other illustrations, you need to have the posted on a different site.

Ease of reading

Difficult sentences

  • I have just started reading that book and I found many sentences that I have difficulties with understanding. In the spirit of 'peer production' I am thinking about recording a list of such sentences here so that editors of the future version of the book could ease the readers work. Would there be a value in such a list?
Here are some examples:
p18 "My own emphasis is on the specific relative roles of market and nonmarket sectors, and how that change anchors the radical decentralization that he too observes, as a matter of sociological observation." (what change?)
From the context, this appears to be a small error of omission, that should have read: "My own emphasis is on the specific change in relative roles of market and nonmarket sectors, and how that change anchors the radical decentralization that he too observes, as a matter of sociological observation."
p21 "given that I subject to similar criticism rules styled by their proponents as “property”"
p29 "High-volume mechanical presses and the telegraph combined with new business practices to change newspapers from small-circulation local efforts into mass media." (what is the predicate here?)
Zby: Yochai is using the word "combined" as a past-tense verb. The presses and the telegraph are subjects of the sentence. "combined with new..." is the predicate. - Ady
Ady: I do believe that those sentences do have sense - but still if others would have to stumble upon them and need to stop to think about their meaning then perhaps it would be useful to edit them. It all depends how many other readers would have similar difficulties as mine. -- Zby
In the acknowledgments section, Yochai Benkler confesses to a tendency towards "excessively long sentences". Given the significance of the book, considerations of ease of comprehension - with a particular concern for those whose native language is not English - would appear worthy of attention.

Long paragraphs

  • Related to this, many of the paragraphs could reasonably be characterized as excessively long, and include weighty sentences with the result that there may well be a good number of prospective readers who find The Wealth of Network somewhat difficult to digest in its original format.

Bulleted chapters

By providing distinctive paragraph breaks and double-spacing between sentences, and adding as many levels of outline bullets as suggest themselves, the books seems to be much easier to read. See, for example, Bulleted Chapter 1

Use of Wiki Features

Community portal

Discussion pages

User pages

User talk pages


Wiki cross-pollination

Cross-posting with other Wiki spaces
Yale Access to Knowledge Conference [2]
The Wealth of Networks @ Wikipedia [3]

Contributing / participating

Perhaps this should be first on the list, as the surest way for the Wiki to grow is for each of us to contribute to this Wiki - and to invite friends and colleagues - including those who have not yet discovered the joys of Wiki work - to join in the process. Remember, as noted in the book, the power of a network is a function of the square of the number of nodes.