We consider wiki as an opportunistic symbiotic organism existing in and responding to the habitat provided by the evolving internet.
The timesharing habitat confined users to an institutional resource, often a single computer shared with batch applications.
The internet habitat allowed users to login to various specialized timesharing services in order to exploit applications and data confined there.
The world-wide-web habitat brought standardized graphical-interactive abstraction to the internet without requiring any mobility of applications or data.
The mega-corporate-datacenter brought mobility to applications and data within private reserves where their utility could be metered out to an increasingly incompetent community.
The platform-as-a-service habitat offers free-range applications and data leased refuge within the mega-corporate-datacenter. Linux provides mobility finally to applications and data. Docker cuts remaining ties.
The platform-api-interface habitat induces architectural form onto applications and data. Mobility is again restricted to specific datacenter leases. Monolithic scale is the carot. We know the stick.
Wiki joins adaptive services like ftp and email as a means of sharing data but does not share the applications that give the data utility. Wiki conforms to its original habitat in aspects both positive and negative.
Some sites bud from the original wiki but fall short of giving their content any mobility. Namespace sharing in the form of Sister Sites proves unsustainable for unknown reasons.
A proliferation of markup serve the captive applications as they evolve but further restricts mobility of data to specific applications. Creole suggest some universality.
Wikimedia properties assume parity with other monoliths using unusual funding and governance. The user-generated-content model catches on, but not the user-favorable business practices.
Federated wiki is launched with an idealistic refusal to host but struggles to overcome the complexities of the modern internet. Looming cyberwar makes any departure from the norm scary.
Idealists have long recognized the extension of human potential possible with the man-machine integration and co-evolution. Hypertext is always described as such.
We now recognize a tension between two symbiotic relationships: man-machine and organization-machine. The organization made real in law, in corporate, has amassed the wealth, power and longevity to nurture its relationship with the computer.
From rare-earth metals to hydro-power the industry organizes global resources in such a way that we can at least have this conversation. We have the global computational network.
We now find ourselves in the role of small mammals in the age of dinosaurs. The computational-network for us is like the energy-transforming flora for them. How fast can we forage? What is our place in the food chain?