[Foundation-l] [Wikipedia-l] Wikipedia and the networked society

SJ 2.718281828 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 22 03:20:07 UTC 2006

[1] Perhaps a very long time.

On 9/21/06, SJ <2.718281828 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Wikipedia is no longer a project or a club.  It is a society and a
> component of society, a supporting beam in a new addition to the
> castle of civilization.  Soon -- and for a long time to come[1] -- it
> will touch every structure, every window, wall and fixture, from pipes
> to minarets.  It will influence decisions about community-building and
> knowledge production, publishing and broadcasting, by proxy if not
> directly.
> Brief discussions about the future surfaced at Wikimania, last year
> and last month.  Other discussoins have surrounded the board
> elections.  The latter have a very particular flavor; and are likely
> to end once the elections do.  Other discussions have surfaced before,
> largely in meta-space, and rarely with deep collaboration.  It is a
> shame that introspection, statistics about our communities and
> ourselves, internal research efforts, have not been a larger part of
> recent years' growth.  It would be a further shame if the projects did
> not find guidance in lessons of the distant past, in similar
> organizations and initiatives of the recent past, or in similar trends
> of the present.
> We are doing the impossible, at a very rapid rate -- too rapid at
> times for us to stop and collect our thoughts.  Today it was suggested
> that spending too much time discussing or thinking about priorities
> and future direction is a distraction from building the projects or
> writing an encyclopedia.  In counter, here are three areas in
> particular which deserve ongoing attention, and which will help the
> projects scale another few orders of magnitude:
>  1. Discussion of the dreams, goals, and milestones for the projects,
> foundation, and community
>  2. Discussion and launching of communal research projects to find out
> more about the projects, communities, users and reusers
>  3. Identification and investigation of parallel projects and
> organizations, now and in the past, to offer perspective
> Three emails follow on the above topics.  I hope the aftertaste of the
> elections and the upcoming foundation retreat will encourage
> addressing these issues in earnest.
> SJ

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