[Foundation-l] Wikis analysed

Virgilio A. P. Machado vam at fct.unl.pt
Tue Dec 14 22:55:38 UTC 2010

It's quite interesting that this topic has surfaced. The applications 
of such software might be of great interest in many areas. Some of 
those applications seem so powerful that it seems likely that this 
might be already well developed. The application mentioned in the 
opening of this thread concerns "late 17th and early 18th century 
letters of the "republic of letters" with the aim to reconstruct the 
flow of ideas and the personal networks that generated this flow" and 
the "tools we would later on use to analyze our data." Reference was 
made to analysis of wikis that "gave network structures of the 
interrelated pages and category trees" while recognizing the need to 
go much further, in order to "get definite pictures of the 
development of 17th century intellectual networks (how do they spread 
on the European map? Who is communicating with whom? Who is playing 
what role in the process?), and of the flow of topics within these networks."

Consider now a different study object: foreign diplomatic relations, 
drug trafficking (no pun intended), global warfare development, 
political intrigue or, at a smaller scale, organizational intrigue. 
 From an historic point of view the results might provide great depth 
of knowledge. In real time, as the events unfold, this could be a 
powerful tool to understand how things evolve in a certain direction.

The Wikimedia projects power structure is definitely a serious 
candidate for such analysis.


Virgilio A. P. Machado (Vapmachado)

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