FedWiki Lifecycle

in a video Mike C walks through how content is developed and circulated in FedWiki. Central is how a brief entry is developed by linking it internally, and distributed by forking. "We don't 'like' a post. We fork it."

Getting across the sense of how FedWiki posts develop is a challenge that Mike addresses by making other sharing systems touchstones. In Twitter, we re-tweet. In FedWiki, we fork and link. In FB, we like, in FedWiki, we fork to develop further. And at every turn, we link - to internal posts, to external sources.

A second significant moment in this video is when Mike gives FedWiki users permission to use their wiki privately - to add posts for their own purposes rather than world connection, and gives users permission to just browse FedWikis of others. FedWiki needs to find its social practices, and permission to just browse is a start. Forking as a signal of liking.

And there's the linking thing: THe more richly a post is linked, the more significant the network and each post becomes. That's an adage in wiki and blog writing. But there's a gap here. To link, you have to remember what you wrote in a different place and time. Creating a link on the fly this way demands memory. Putting the effort into a search means shifting gears from composing to searching and invention. I knew I had a page out there about Fedwiki as Memex-Journal but I had to go searching for it. The idea of collecting these links in their own paragraph, strategically placed, can lighten the cognitive load.

I'm not as interested in a community so much as the circulation of ideas. So I'm deemphasizing the need for the system to support individuals in a community. The strength of the Fedwiki content flow is in its federation - and the choices behind federating. The interesting stuff is in how the content circulates and what others do with it.

Related to this is Rhetorical Velocity.