Wiki as Platform

I am a continual proponent of the wiki style, where structure in the work emerges unmanaged by assumptions of programmers. This is the exact opposite of the sinister "algorithm" that now rules popular social software. I've now pushed this style into a computational realm where collaborators can do computing as well as talk about the computing they do. Every result ends up a story.

The mind discovers expressions that work by exploiting physical, environmental and cultural properties held in common. We call the collective product 'language'.

Networked computers can 'prescribe' a protocol for information transfer in service of anticipated action. Enter your credit card. Press buy.

Networked computers can 'provide' new physical, environmental and cultural elements with properties yet to be fully explored. See this. What made you think of that?

Thus is the difference between an application and a platform. One narrows the discourse, the other broadens.

We develop federated wiki through the evolutionary process of application, by individuals with narrow interests making lasting work from available plugins, followed by a process of inspiration, by the reflections of the community that has remained interested in the platform.

# Tips

We consider how we can make wiki a better platform by resisting guidance based on what we want people to do. Better to offer mechanisms close to the natural capabilities of computers and networks. Then let minds make of it what they will.

Decompose wants into steps and then steps into mechanisms. The mechanism can't depend on intention.

Find new ways to use existing mechanisms before hypothesising new ones. Prefer workflow to automation.

Share works as they are constructed. Examine the visible history of other's works. Adopt and improve workflows.

Include in works an author's statement of intent. Cite inspirations with references. Return with later reflections.

Find beauty in the utility provided to others, especially other authors. Be that beauty when you find it.

Expect parts to work together in appearance and function. Reuse idioms that have so worked.

Assume a depth of skills. Readers can write, writers can code, coders can help, helpers can read.

Provide a depth of opportunity. From writing to markup to about pages to repository to community.

# Related

Small Steps in a creative community.