Category "Community Rules"

Category "Journal Articles"

Category "Peer Production"

June 28, 2005

Towards Emancipatory Use of a Medium: The Wiki

Ebersbach, Anja, and Markus Glaser. “Towards Emancipatory Use of a Medium: The Wiki.”. International Journal of Information Ethics. Vol. 2 (Nov. 2004). no002/ijie_002_09_ebersbach.pdf. 28 June 2005.

The authors argue that wikis fulfill the original egalitarian intent of the Web as conceived by Berners-Lee. As such, they constitute an emancipatory medium. They base their study on the seven criteria for emanicipatory media set forth in Enzensberger’s 1970 essay “Constituents of a theory of the media”:

  1. decentralized program
  2. each receiver a potential transmitter
  3. mobilization of the masses
  4. collective production
  5. interaction of those involved, feedback
  6. social control by self-organization
  7. a political learning process
Wikis do seem to fulfill each of these criteria. Several subsections are particularly useful. In the section entitled “Collective Production,” the authors point to useful analyses of the collaborative process demonstrated in general wikis, which differ from the Wikipedia process (discussion leading to production and vice versa). “Social Control by Self-Organization” briefly considers relevant IP issues, and the final section, “Political Learning Process” points to the process of perspective-taking that is discussed in more depth in the Reagle essay.

Posted by kenne329 at 11:12 AM | Community Rules | Journal Articles | Peer Production

Category "Authority"

Category "Community Rules"

Category "Journal Articles"

Category "Peer Production"

Category "Wikipedia"

June 24, 2005

Phantom Authority, self-selective recruitment and retention of members in virtual communities: The case of Wikipedia

Ciffolilli, Andrea. “Phantom authority, self-selective recruitment, and retention of members in virtual communities: The case of Wikipedia.” First Monday. 8.12 (Dec. 2003). 24 June 2005.

This article explores team and club theory within the context of production-based communities such as Wikipedia. Krishnamurthy’s idea that large, or “crowded,” communities are a poor fit for production is initially noted. However, the author argues that heterogeneous crowding is a positive feature in such communities, since it allows for variety of talents and skills that will move production forward. The evidence demonstrated in Wikipedia’s successful production rate runs counter to existing club theories concerning crowding. Wikipedia is also remarkable for the self-selection of its participants. Therefore, club theory (which places value on exclusivity) may not be applicable to wiki-like environments.

Ciffolilli also suggests that part of Wikipedia’s success is due to lowering transaction costs for editing and changing information to the point that they are nearly cancelled. These reduced costs allow for full exploitation of community strengths and provide an incentive for participation. Because fixes are so simple, there is more incentive for “creative construction” than “creative destruction” (5). Authority within the community is gained through accumulated reputations, and motivation for participation may also be tied to reputation. A host of other motivations are also posited (6).

Posted by kenne329 at 2:02 PM | Authority | Community Rules | Journal Articles | Peer Production | Wikipedia