Wiki Master Discussion

Actually, there are no WikiMasters.

No-one here will clobber your valuable content. At worst, they'll come back after all the dust has settled, like GoodWikiCitizens, and clean away the ThreadMode.

One of the most difficult wiki situations is when someone disagrees with an acknowledged WikiMaster. Should that person, who may not consider themselves a WikiMaster, change the master's work? If so, wiki becomes vulnerable to those with poor judgment. If not, wiki develops subtle power hierarchies. The hierarchies occur even with unsigned text: frequent readers know the hostnames of the masters. -- "A Visitor"

I've always wondered and been mystified by all these references to WikiMaster. Who are these persons, who anoints them, what do they know the rest of us don't? I don't think they exist. I think that wiki was designed so anyone can and will just change stuff that they think will look better in some other way. So, unless WardCunningham indicates otherwise, I suggest that if you think you can improve the writing of someone you consider a WikiMaster, just do so. They might even like it! (and if they don't, that's the wikiness of wikiwiki). -- AlistairCockburn

Agreed. Having followed along as a RecentChangesJunkie, I suspect that WikiMaster is a StrawMan definition used by relatively few people. Don't let it put you off. -- DaveSmith

A WikiMaster adds value by removing and/or editing those contributions that clutter the pages and are not relevant to the original content of the page. Without a WikiMaster, some pages may quickly become unreadable and without information content. I believe it is important to remove noise (things that distract from the subject or are misleading). I know I am opening the door to arbitrary judgement. Let's hope we are all good-willed internautes. -- René

Can you tell the difference between "signal" and "noise"? Then you're half-way towards being a WikiMaster. -- DaveHarris

Someone's signal might be another's noise. -- ChanningWalton Uh, oh - one man's ceiling is another man's floor, right? I would like to think that the regulars here will have a common perception of what is "signal" versus what is "noise", and act accordingly. I depend on those non-existent WikiMasters? to do the editing.

I believe that a WikiMaster is one who is good at editing and organizing the wiki so that neither information nor useful discussion is lost. Being a prolific and didactic author clearly does not make one a WikiMaster. I offer myself as example. A WikiMaster, operating on my work, would improve it without changing what it communicates. Reading it, I would be amazed at how well and succinctly I had expressed myself. Think "really good editor". That's my take, anyway. -- RonJeffries

There are many pages that just fade away into the great archival bin in the back office. If neither you nor anyone else sees value in a page, then it will fade out of view with no effort on anyone's part. A form of WuWei.

A sort of unaided DeathOfThePage? -- MartinNoutch

A WikiMaster would shape Wiki. No deletions for deletion's sake. No edits for editing's sake. The art is not in the strokes, but in the painting. -- SunirShah

Wise words, Sunir. -- PhilGoodwin

The statement, "No one here will clobber your valuable content," is not true. Some people will and those will usually do it anonymously. A few people on this wiki have been known to DisagreeByDeleting along with a handful of other patterns of behavior that can be rude, destructive, and insulting. This is not to say that Wiki is a terrible place; it's just meant to make those new to Wiki understand it is not a fairy tale either. There is no magic here that puts human nature on hold.

Don't forget: there are no WikiMasters.

Remember, an artist is someone with the ability to do more, and the good taste not to.

A WikiMaster is someone who decides to clean up a page for some reason, and perhaps does that several times a month.

But not the same page over and over.


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