Archive for the 'wikis' Category

Q+A builds the semantic wiki

October 20, 2007

Markus Krötzsch and the semantic wiki team at the Institute of Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods at Karlsruhe University have set up an interesting way to capture and enhance the information in Wikipedia.

They have developed some “clever” tools that analyse pages in Wikipedia and are able to formulate a series of questions that are presented to users. For example:



If you don’t know the answer then you simply follow the link to the appropriate page, or Google for it and see if you can find the answer.

It clearly needs to be contextual – better to ask questions about content that a user is engaged in rather than asking random questions – but I am sure that is in the pipeline.

All that is needed is some sort of MTurk system that rewards or recognises activity or (better) some social pressure to contribute an answer whenever you use Wikipedia.

It is being tested here:

Facebook wiki

October 2, 2007

I just found a really neat facebook app called Monowiki. It allows anyone with a facebook account to create a wiki.

The only things it really needs is a system for creating categories (i.e. adding tags to pages)… I love it! and I am going to move Batan City over to it ASAP.

Participation inequality

August 6, 2007

At last week’s Wiki Wednesday in London David Terrar started a group discussion about “Participation Inequality” and Jacob Neilsen’s 90-9-1 rule of user participation.

Neilsen observes that:

“All large-scale, multi-user communities and online social networks that rely on users to contribute content or build services share one property: most users don’t participate very much. Often, they simply lurk in the background…

  • 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don’t contribute)
  • 9% of users contribute from time to time, but other priorities dominate their time.
  • 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions: it can seem as if they don’t have lives because they often post just minutes after whatever event they’re commenting on occurs.

Obviously “large-scale” (i.e. public wikis like Wikipedia, Wikia and Yellowikis) have different dynamics and motivations from those found in enterprise wikis but nobody at Wiki Wednesday really knew what levels of participation a business might expect behind a firewall – it also occurred to me that different wiki platforms might well show up different levels of user engagement.

Is this something that Cases2.0 might reveal?

SocialCalc 1.1.0 released

June 23, 2007

Announced yesterday by Liz Henry on the Socialtext blog.

Snap to Grid

June 21, 2007

Tom Gruber (who is on the Socialtext‘s board of advisors) has a great presentation called “Avoiding the Travesty of the Commons“. I like his “snap to grid” metaphor for encouraging structured and unstructured data to sit together. File under: “Things I wish I had known…”

London WikiWednesday

May 25, 2007

Looking forward to seeing Julian R Harris and the rest of the London Wiki Massive next week at WikiWednesday. Looks like some interesting people are coming.

WikiOhana, WikiPo

May 12, 2007

Added a couple of pages to the “getting started” section of WikiOhana – good fun getting to grips with a new wiki mark-up (OddMuse in this case). Which reminds me I must remember to write up the “Four Circles of WikiPo“.

Exciting times at Socialtext

May 5, 2007

Ross Mayfield (my boss at Socialtext) got the whole company blogging and chatting on IRC this week – it is really impressive how his company-wide blogging-101 training session seems to have brought “the t-shirts”and “the suits” together… you could feel the energy and the tempo move up a notch or two… barriers dropped, conversations started. Actually it was a blog post about cultural dilution within Socialtext that seems to have kick started the process.

It is great to be part of such a dynamic and exciting group of people.

Note to self: The worst cultural influence that Wikipedia has is the lack of humour to be found in wiki projects (with some exceptions)… we must inject some humour into the wiki world at work…

The French have a word for it:

April 6, 2007

School of Everything Stars logoDoing some thinking about the School of Everything

This led me to: Trampoline Systems. Who’s founder Charles Armstrong was presenting at the same CityZone event as me last year.

I also took a look at the WYSIWYG interface for MediaWiki being shown off at Wikia.

…a number of random links and clicks led me to this French site about education. Which made me laugh.

Wiki Wednesday

April 5, 2007

Last night was Wiki Wednesday in London.

Organised by the charming David Terrar and hosted in the Swimming Pool at Microsoft‘s Soho office (that is the part of London, not Bill Gate’s den).

The ?What If!lers Julie and Anne-Fay and her partner Darrell were there – Anne-Fay and Darrell write a blog called BigShinyThing – it is so perfectly Zeitgeisty that I realise why I don’t really read newspapers or watch much TV anymore.  

BST Tagcloud

But they also make me feel quite depressed about my own erratic blogging efforts. (N.B. my highlight of a funny TagCloud juxtaposition)