[moved from WhyWikiWorks
That might just kill wiki. It sure killed UseNet ...
- I don't agree that ease-of-use killed off UseNet; it was lack of content moderation. There needs to be a certain amount of review/moderation to maximize the signal/noise ratio. Naturally, the greater the number of users, the greater number of reviewers needed. Usenet was swamped by the geometric increase of unacculturated Internet users who were not educated by those who knew better (despite the efforts of some).
- The above is a very naive observation/explanation. There is no need for content moderation. Who is the authority that decides what content is appropriate/good and what not? Well certainly it is just another human being with his/her own agenda. I for one have seen pretty often that certain posts were deleted only because the authority didn't like them, and not because they were rude or offending someone. The FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION is important.
- I think that the proposal that content moderation is needless is naive. Content moderation is the most natural part of the wiki's I have seen; the purpose of the wiki initially attracts people that support that purpose, and they stay if the people there have similar opinions about the same thing, or at least a similar set of values/beliefs/backgrounds etc. These people stay for a while and become part of the collective that is the wiki and therefore the overriding leanings that brought them to the wiki and kept them there (which are naturally aligned due to their attraction to the wiki in the first place) make sure that content outside the scope of their purpose is truncated by group consensus.
- This is my humble example of an uncalled for digression. What do you think?
- Even that didn't kill Usenet, although it degraded it. Spam is what "killed" Usenet (not that it's actually dead; there are useful groups alive and well there, actually). And although new phenomena created new problems for Usenet, it was by no means perfect at any point in its history; there were always problems.
- UseNet became UselessNet because of lack of moderation. With no way to limit the influx of spam, and intelligible conversation, Usenet became as swamped as my ten-year-old email address. Wiki is difficult to spam robotically, and because anyone can delete any content, it's self moderating.
- Success killed Usenet. I disagree with the reasons listed above about usenet's demise, (and it is pretty much useless if not dead). I think usenet's death had more to do with its breadth of coverage. So many readers drew the eyes of advertisers. (like a huge herd of sheep will always draw the wolves). It's actually a sad prospect, because it says that large scale success will kill Wiki.
- Web-forums killed Usenet. I disagree with all the reasons listed above. I think the web, or most specifically, web-forums killed usenet. Web forums were more accessible using web-pages, and even though that meant less-tech savvy people initially, the readership/contributors on forums became so huge that the usenet regs went to forums AND usenet for a while, but as forums grew, they naturally migrated away from usenet. FWIW, I still frequent the usenet groups and more often than not find more meaningful information to my problems there - might be a selection effect though due the type of issues I run into and the type of people who still linger there. Spam and what-not didn't help, but I think the rise of web-forums is the single largest contributor to the demise of usenet. I also disagree that large-scale success will kill wiki. They are so completely different in form/function that a comparison is not accurate. If anything will kill the wiki, it's political/ideological bias by sysops and cheap foreign labor...but that's a whole 'nothing ball of whatever there are tangly balls of.
- Ratio killed Usenet I'm not sure Usenet is really dead. If you look at the number of posts to Usenet (excluding spam) in 2006, I'm not sure it's still not higher than you had in 1993 or so. I think what happened was that Usenet grew very quickly with the AOL influx and then most of the AOL influx moved on to web discussion. However, even a small percentage of their membership added a lot of people to usenet. It's like insurance vs mutual funds in America. From the 1950s to the 1990s, the insurance revenue grew at a rate 8% smaller than the rate at which mutual fund contributions grew. Both grew relative to inflation but by the end mutual funds had grown 40x as much relative to insurance and now mutual funds play the role that insurance once played as the primary non real estate investment for middle class Americans. The life insurance industry isn't dead; it's just of relatively less importance.
- Nothing has universally replaced usenet yet. There are topic-specific web-boards out there, but most people try usenet first because they know where it is from experience with other topics. Topic-specific discussion boards will suck some away, but usenet is still in a unique position of being one-stop-shopping.
- One dampener is lack of custom sub-titles. In other discussion systems, you have the discussion title, and then a message-specific title. Without the message-specific title you don't have a lot of info to put messages into context.
- Every message has a Subject header, with the same standard as email of prepending "Re:" to indicate what thread it belongs to. Furthermore, news software also adds headers for message ids and parent ids as a further aid to structure a discussion irrespective of the actual subject used. GoogleGroups, for instance, pays attention to these headers to structure a discussion thread.
Evidence UseNet will live forever
Progress Killed UseNet
It is a SimpleMinded
answer, but I believe that any Computer or Internet Artifact, be it a mechanism, process, or program can be improved upon. What made Usenet interesting and effective was that it provided a switchboard and a network, which could connect like-minded seekers for information, validation, and community, and which used the media and technology of its day. Today things are so different that just a provision of a switchboard, network and like-mindedness can not furnish the vitality of community it once did. Why? Because one thing that groups had in common was that they were composed of people who joined in common because it was one of the "few" ways one could satisfy innovative information needs. I also believe that things which work well are not killed by those who misuse it, but by those who abandon it. In seeking information, the InformationConsumer?
has a belief in "continual" improvement, and that things can be "better than" they are today and were yesterday. The user of information today is not one who necessarily needs "community" to gather information, and will not be limited by the existance within a community or group of an "expert or group of experts" who will "supply or make available" the tidbit another member or reader needs. Seekers of information are interested, not just in the fragments of information which can be assembled into a meaningful whole, but in complete solutions and comprehensiveness. The growth of "multitudes" of answers and alternatives via Fast, Indexing and access to Extensive InformationStores?
has supplied a willing and competent means for such users. These are supplied in "real time", typically resulting in responses which range from fractional to single digit seconds. when a user supplies a query, particularly one which is well prepared and specifically targeted, the results can be extremely useful. The growth of independent, specific InformationProviders?
in numbers exceeding that which UseNet
can, has, and will provide will ensure that the migration will only continue. When a user can in effect fly, when earlier the mode was one of walking, why not? -- DonaldNoyes
Interesting. To my mind what's been gained is intertwingling and presentation quality. What's been lost is breadth of community and creative juice. I don't believe it's impossible that they'll be found again in some wave of web to come. At one point some of us hoped wiki itself was the rebirth of these things. --Pete.
I hadn't thought of it in that way. Certainly those who look to a community for information and validation of personal approaches, can also be affected by the approaches of others in such a way as to discover ways to modify their own to include the approaches that a community decides as appropriate via dialogue and development. The thing that makes this happen, the "creative Juices" is a combination of community focus and a decision to come to agreement, and to provide alternatives which handle differences. In doing so, one can become "inspired" or "enthused" by the interaction, and as a result can be enabled to present new insights, solutions, and suggestions, which then can be repeated and multiplied by others within the community. In addition to the desire to be a "discoverer" (of information), the member of such a community may feel "obligated" to become a "provider or participant in provision" (of information) for the community as a whole. What is essential and what makes this work is the decision to come to agreement. What I had attempted to indicate is that some have abandoned the "old ways" which worked in an environment quite different from that in which "ItWorks
" to one which finds such diversification and dispersion as to split communities into more and more specialization to the point of becoming nearly "undiscoverable" and lacking in focus. The holistic view of a "forest" has become a telescopic view of "a tree". The discovery of a way in "some wave of web to come" is a challenge that needs to be taken up. Dialoque must be joined by another method, that of "invention". -- ThinkingOutLoud
The "next wave" will need to deal with human bandwidth issues. In particular, the total amount of available signal increases (very approximately) linearly with the number of signal sources, which continues to increase at an almost exponential rate. Nowadays we have blogs, a panoply of wikis, gaggles of forums, news websites, e-mail, television channels, radio channels, etc. etc. etc. And, of course, even Usenet is hanging around. Unfortunately for us, as individual sinks for signal our ability to absorb all these is extremely limited. As things are, there's plenty of 'creative juice'... more than enough to drown oneself.
What will ultimately need to happen: agents... services (automated or otherwise) that can represent our interests on the vast sea of information, gathering infodata in which we are interested, summarizing, filtering based on priority, coordinating this search with other agents insofar as there are no significant concerns for privacy, and even providing a 'voice' for us ensuring that our individual views are heard by those people most likely to listen or respond.
Modern search services are a step in the right direction, but still possess vastly limited ability to merge and summarize data into packets we can consume, and even more limited in providing us a voice.