#rcc09 : Developing a wiki community

February 20th, 2009 by Laura Leave a reply »

RecentChangesCamp is under way and I’m attending a session on developing wiki communities. Several Meyer Memorial Trust people here and several Foodista folks at this presentation.

Some general thoughts and things mentioned:

Community needs to be built around a content from which possible community members are dedicated to and passionate about. It needs to flow with their normal tasks and create reason why to participate.

You need a few core people who are dedicated to keeping the community going. This can be because wikis have bursts of activity and you need some one can sustain across bursts.

Wiki communities can be helped by contacting people who contribute to the wiki and asking how they can be more helpful.

People like rewards, recognition for their activity. That needs to be done and tapped into in order to help build community.

Highlighting the fact that others can use the content and be helpful to them can give people a more altruistic reason for being involved.

Wikia does a good job at highlighting communities, highlighting articles created by the community.

Members of a wiki can get value when you reminded them that they are part of a larger community and a mission, a guiding statement. It helps create purpose and leads to fulfillment when that goal is being accomplished. Their contributions become more than just a few edits.

WikiHow is benefiting community wise because of retired folks and laid off people. It means more people involved and helps connect them to part of a larger community as they deal with life changes.

Community needs to understand that there is no page ownership. When dealing with older people, you need to patient and explain ownership issues.

Community Wiki and Meatball Wiki are two wikis which talk about building community on wikis.

There can be a trust issue to getting people involved with wikis. Because wikis run counter to the idea of not having authority.

  • sidewinder_FH

    All great advice and brings up a lot of the points I've seen with PoliceWiki, and elsewhere. You're going to have that "core group" of people involved who love a wiki project and end up doing something like 99% of the work and editing, at least at first. The trick is to hopefully, maybe, get that down to 90% (or less) in time by reaching out to people and showing them how contributing to the wiki can be useful and good to *them*. And yet at least in fandom, people can be "protective" of their information and their "turfs" of expertise. Someone who, say, runs a website with an extensive Police discography might not want to give up his "exclusive" content by including it on a wiki, even if it means a more centralized collection of information, more easily found and used by others.

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