Saturday, June 16, 2007

If you love somebody set them free

On OmegaWiki we have many sysops. Giving people the abilities that comes with the sysop flag is what has prevented a lot of vandalism and spam. We are happy and grateful that this has worked out so well for us. As a consequence, we do not have the eternal admins versus the editors controversy, our admins do not have to do anything; they are kindly requested to do good and amazingly they do.

With some sadness, we learned that a Wiktionary admin is leaving Wiktionary; he was told to be more active or else. There is a silver lining in that this guy announced to become more active on OmegaWiki. Obviously every project makes his bed and lies in it. We have chosen to have as little bureaucracy as possible. The question is very much; how is it going to scale.

OmegaWiki will expand by including "Wikis for Professionals". Each will include the terminology for a specific domain extended with specific information and functionality. With more people signing up to such a community, it may acquire its own rules. These rules should fit in the larger community that is OmegaWiki. What I expect is that often the unwritten rules will be the more important ones. In a Wiki for Professionals, people will be interested when the project is relevant. When this proves to be demonstrably so, it may become important to be identifiable to gain the benefits of the association with the project. The flip side of the coin is that negative behaviour can damage a professional reputation.

In a year, the community of OmegaWiki will be different. We work hard to provide it with an environment that will enable it to do good. At this stage it is still very much basic functionality that we are building. There is much new functionality and data waiting to go live. When it has, we will love to hear what is good and what could be better. We will love it when people help us morph our functionality and make our environment more relevant.

The only thing that we will insist on is that things can coexist and people collaborate, in that way we set not only the data free but also the imagination free, we will love it and we will set them free.


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