Wiki participation

DARnet
Andy’s writing about wiki participation and some connections from the DARwiki to a conversation on a couple of blogs. He’s found people talking about the best ways to encourage wiki facilitation, but doing it on their ‘home turf’ rather than participating in the making of the DARwiki page. The irony isn’t lost on Andy 🙂
I know that he’s not fully explored his thoughts on all of this yet but it did sort of get me thinking too. There’s a couple of aspects of this that resonate for me.
People who write blog entries pointing to the Classroom Displays blog often suggest their readers will enjoy it or find it useful. Not once (as far as I’m aware) has someone who has blogged the Classroom Displays blog or the Flickr group actually joined the group or uploaded images to the wikispace.
I think edubloggers are alerting their audience, saying ‘there’s something over there you might be interested in’, rather than spotting something they themselves would want to get involved with. Often they point out the blog as an example of sharing best practice or using a blog for career development, as if they are saying ‘you too could find a niche and blog about that’ rather than actually encouraging engagement with the subject matter of the blog. They too, like Andy’s examples, are working at a meta level. In a way that’s good for the CD blog. More people are learning about it all the time. It’s being promoted as part of teacher training courses (amazing what you can tell from referer stats!). I suppose where I’m going with this is that the bloggers (in this case) aren’t really participating in a connectivist conversation about the subject matter of the blog but rather in one about the bloggers favourite subject – blogging! I wonder if the people blogging about facilitating wiki are doing a similar sort of thing.
Then there’s the issue of ownership. If a wiki is set up to serve a pre-existing community, like the cider wiki, it is a very different entity than one which may be the ‘property’ of one individual. I’ve noticed my own reluctance to edit ‘other people’s’ wikis, even sometimes DARnet! It can feel like invading someone’s territory if all the edits have been done by one or two people. It’s hard to get a balance. Its’ easy to say don’t do it all yourself but if there have been no edits for months it starts to feel like a dead wiki. Hmm, no idea where I’m going with all of this. I suppose it’s partly because I’m contemplating starting a new project, possibly based on a wiki and I’m wondering how I’m going to populate it. I’ve been thinking that I’d have to do some F2F workshops to build a seed community. I think I may need a crash course in community building & wiki facilitation, so it’s back to the DARwiki page for me then!
Meanwhile on the CD blog there are few comments these days, even though the number of visiters is far higher than it was this time last year. The best bit of interaction recently has been a poll about the point of displays which has attracted 42 replies so far, (and the current winning answer was added by a reader!).

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