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Edit history from English Wikibooks[edit]

This page was at (except without the "Transwiki:"). Its edit history was:

  • 06:06, 30 December 2005 Cormaggio (changing licence)
  • 12:21, 21 September 2005 Cma
  • 12:19, 21 September 2005 Cma m (condensing, discussion on wiki or elsewhere? :p)
  • 12:12, 21 September 2005 Cma m (condensing)
  • 17:12, 20 September 2005 Cormaggio (→Building Wikipedia)
  • 17:04, 20 September 2005 Cormaggio (→Building Wikipedia - typo)
  • 09:03, 31 August 2005 JakobVoss m (abstract and slides into template)
  • 08:48, 31 August 2005 Cormaggio (adding slides (don't yet know how to fit this into template))
  • 08:36, 29 August 2005 Fuzheado (fix bio a bit)
  • 08:21, 29 August 2005 Fuzheado (add edit status)
  • 11:51, 20 August 2005 Cormaggio
  • 11:10, 19 August 2005 Cormaggio
  • 10:04, 19 August 2005 Cormaggio (→Conclusions - sp)
  • 09:52, 19 August 2005 Cormaggio (bits n bobs)
  • 19:49, 4 August 2005 Cormaggio (notes)
  • 16:21, 3 August 2005 Cormaggio (pretty much final version, apart from references needing serious cleaning up)
  • 02:22, 30 July 2005 Fuzheado (templateize)
  • 15:37, 26 July 2005 Cormaggio (tidied structure)
  • 15:17, 26 July 2005 Cormaggio (→Conflict: a case study)
  • 13:52, 26 July 2005 Cormaggio (getting there..)
  • 00:58, 26 July 2005 Cormaggio (lil' bits)
  • 18:30, 23 July 2005 (ö)
  • 17:49, 23 July 2005 (clean-up)
  • 02:26, 20 July 2005 Sj
  • 02:25, 20 July 2005 Sj
  • 10:53, 13 July 2005 Cormaggio (→Introduction)
  • 01:10, 4 July 2005 JakobVoss m (header)
  • 23:19, 20 June 2005 JakobVoss (first full paper being edited :-))
  • 14:00, 18 June 2005 (added content (still draft))
  • 13:36, 14 June 2005 Aphaia (Wikimania paper Cormac)

Discussion history on en.wikibooks:

   * (cur) (last)  06:01, 16 January 2006 Cormaggio (Other criticisms and citations of this paper/presentation)
   * (cur) (last) 09:28, 15 January 2006 Cormaggio (ok, just one comment for now)
   * (cur) (last) 09:07, 15 January 2006 Cormaggio
   * (cur) (last) 19:52, 30 December 2005 Lazyquasar m (tweak error)
   * (cur) (last) 19:50, 30 December 2005 Lazyquasar (guess we need a common definition of "leadership")
   * (cur) (last) 19:28, 30 December 2005 Lazyquasar (leadership roles are not decentralized in Wikipedia)
   * (cur) (last) 19:09, 30 December 2005 Lazyquasar (external appeal to authority)
   * (cur) (last) 18:56, 30 December 2005 Lazyquasar m (fix format error)
   * (cur) (last) 18:55, 30 December 2005 Lazyquasar (Flawed reasoning, wikipedia is not de-centralized)
   * (cur) (last) 18:43, 30 December 2005 Lazyquasar (assumptions regarding learning community are questionable)

Talk from English Wikibooks[edit]

"Growth (in size at least) is easily quantified (Voss, 2005); learning, however, is not. But what, at least, do contributors to Wikipedia feel they have learned? To this question, I have been told (apart from “reams of trivia”): how to do research, how to write better academically, how to read and write better in another language, how to get on with and work with members of another culture and to be generally critical of the media in its presentation of information (Lawler, 2005)."

You appear to leave out consideration that "Wikipedians" are self selected for submission to dictatorial rule. This would appear to somewhat violate the previous assumptions quoted regarding learning communities. The community has not specified Wikipedia's goal by anything except natural selection. Those who will submit cheerfully to "Jimmy says..." remain and work on the Wikipedia if they can figure out what he means by NPOV. He states repeatedly that intelligent reasonable people can agree on how to present all views neutrally .... people who disagree indefinately with the view formulated which he agrees with are ultimately labeled and lynched. Thus NPOV essentially means agrees mostly with Jimmy and his band of merry regulars. Again natural selection is involved, not broad communal consensus building by an open membership. This failure to resolve fundamental community governing issues beyond "Jimmy says ..." has significantly stalled the social development of the community. IMO It remains more like a band of kindergartners currying favor with the teacher or not than a budding band of amateur scholars. I look forward to your future research conclusions. As an oft alleged lying troll (mirwin) my views are decidedly not neutral or unbiased. Wikibooks:en:user:lazyquasar

Under the heading leadership and organization you state: " it offsets this with a decentralised structure throughout."

This is completely flawed reasoning. Fundamental policy issues have been effectively dictated to the "community" by creating unnecessary confusion and controversy and then selecting and mandating the answer preferred by the powers that be. Originally that was Jimmy, Larry and mailing list advisers and "regulars". Later that unilaterally turned into Jimmy, Stacked Board, appointed officers (from trusted regulars). There is nothing decentralized about a structure dictated by a God King or a Stacked Board and selected regulars who agree with them. The internet is a deep volunteer labor pool and inefficiencies in application of uncompensated labor are not prohibitive to an "organization" or gang leadership. Study of participation retention rates, return rates and should viable competitors emerge - exchange rates of participation should be informative. Keep in mind that the basic target participation pool is idealist who desperately want the internet to help change the world and empower the littlest people with internet access while eliminating the digital divide. Might be informative to estimate retention rates via a wild ass guess and then consult quantitative data. user:lazyquasar

Under heading of learning communities you say: "Potentially, this could be said about any content page in Wikipedia, where the principle of neutrality is constantly negotiated, though itself, in the words of Jimmy Wales, “non-negotiable” (W:NPOV)."

So you should not neglect that each micro learning community that you hypothesize potentially forming around each controversial/interesting/active article has as its ultimate arbitrator an appeal to an external authority. NPOV equals "Jimmy says ..." not the prevailing consensus agreement of the community. This appears to violate some of the basic principles you cite. You might find investigation of the "24" "troll" controversy enlightening. "24" was extremely interested in how the cultural and personal views of the 3 billioneth arriving Wikipedian would be incorporated into the "community" hardcore militant Wikipedians insisted existed at Wikipedia. No further mechanism other than persuading Jimmy to agree with the 3 billioneth user has emerged other than the arbitration committee ... which in the past has straightforwardly referenced its authority derived from "Jimmy says ...", not the currently or past measured community consensus. user:lazyquasar

Under heading of opportunity for learning you state in part:

"Discussion is the basic state of Wikipedia, between talk pages, mailing lists and IRC channels, and it is as such that the notion of a place of perspective-sharing comes into its own. Returning to the concept of leadership advocated by Senge (1996), the role of leaders is to make sure that communication is happening throughout the organisation; if we transpose this concept to the completely decentralised structure of Wikipedia, we can see that everyone has the potential to take on any one of these leadership roles and consequently to form and frame the work of the community as a whole.

This is complete garbage. I recommend you do some quantitative research personally in the history pages at meta, various policy pages, and the mailing list archives before you commit your academic reputation to this statement regarding Wikipedia. If we look at history at Wikipedia it is very clear (at least in my personal experience) that potential "leaders" who would not play yes man were labeled and lynched as quickly as possible, first by Larry, then by Jimmy, then by increasingly militant groups of "regulars" fearing somehow precious effort was being wasted in creating high quality commercial grade enclyclopedia articles. No controversial figure that I know of has been appointed to any influential position without first recanting and acknowledging the "Jimmy says ..." paradigm. This was consolidated and documented via the stacked board development of the Wikimedia Foundation and personal appointment of officers. It is true that occasionally good ideas have had their serial numbers filed off and been resubmitted to the community as a great new idea that "Jimmy says..." we can now try out. Consider the "leadership" role any of the 268 voters approving of Wikiversity have been able to play in initiating that project. Progress in the face of adverse hurricane strength head winds is not "leadership", it is tenacity. While it is true with sufficient tenacity enough participation will accrue to allow some "leadership" to emerge, tenacity should never be mistaken for "leadership". The privelege of a one button rollback or easy censorship/discussion trump is IMNSHO not "leadership". This is like saying a chauffer is a leader because he parks the CEO, General, Governer or random billionaire's car in a reserved parking spot. user:lazyquasar

Under the section of Further Work on Wikipedia you state in part: "Wikipedia is also building a learning community where leadership is decentralised and expertise is distributed and in so doing creating a new kind of academic community,"

I think you and I have very different perceptions of "leadership". If you intend this paper for U.S. audiences you may wish to define this term specifically so people understand how you intend it to be taken. Getting others to go along with a superior's mandates after volunteering for a subordinate role might be considered "leadership" in a military hiearchy but I have trouble reconciling this definition with your assessment (which I disagree strongly with as noted in comments above) that Wikipedia or any Wikimedia project has a decentralized leadership structure. In my view leadership generally derives from some consent of the followers, not arbitrary mandates from the top. The current structure of the Wikipedia/Wikimedia project does not encourage decentralized leadership nor growth. In my view, it constrains a potentially explosive chaotic growth and evolution process to something that can be easily controlled by a stacked board. Should this view be even partially correct then the Wikimedia "community" may get a severe shock if any of the peer grid technologies come online in the next few years. One of the current and past constraints on growth has been funding for additional hardware and developer effort in load balancing or optimizing the software of the server farm. Where is the "decentralized leadership" in pursuit of grant funding or better technical means of meeting explosive demand requirements such as periodically incurred by slash/dot or nature or other PR effects? user:lazyquasar