October 14, 2006

I just finished reading the Brian Lamb article and wanted to comment on something he mentioned concerning the primary reluctance of people to using Wiki’s: “Their objection to wikis is nearly universal: “If anybody can edit my text, then anybody can ruin my text.””

Brian goes on to say that  

“This concern is largely misplaced. Think of an open wiki space as a home that leaves its front door unlocked but doesn’t get robbed because the neighbors are all out on their front steps gossiping, keeping a friendly eye on the street, and never missing a thing.”

This presupposes that the neighbourhood is a good neighbourhood and the homeowner is trusting enough of the neighbourhood to leave their door unlocked; imagine if our trusting homeowner lived in on the wrong side of the tracks in detroit… would they still be as trusting to leave their door unlocked? the problem with Brian’s analogy is that you have control over who your neighbours are (by and large), by where you geographically situate yourself… however, on the internet, there are no geographical boundaries… if we are speaking about wiki’s on a corporate intranet, then it is a little easier to know who your ‘neighbours’ are when you are participating in the wiki; however, wikis that are available within the public domain have no such boundaries. on the internet, you cannot ‘move into a good neighbourhood’…

Brian goes on to say that “This ethic is at the heart of “SoftSecurity,” which relies on the community, rather than technology, to enforce order. Whereas “hard security” functions by restricting access or hiding pages…..”

again, this assumes that the community is good, or that the community has a vested interest in maintaining the integrity of the WIKI. I am speculating as to the accuracy of this presupposition after seeing the following on wikipedia:

Wiki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Because of recent vandalism or other disruption, editing of this article by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled. Such users may discuss changes, request unprotection, or create an account.

as you can see, the definition of WIKI from wikipedia, one of our readings for the week, contained this notice at the beginning of the article. If Brian’s idea of “SoftSecurity,” which relies on the community, rather than technology, to enforce order” was as successful as he suggests in his article, then Wikipedia likely would not have had to implement technology to enforce order…

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3 Responses to “”

  1. mark said

    Nevertheless, put some trust in the editing community.

  2. Randy said

    i am not saying that the editing community cannot be trusted at all… i am just saying that the potential threat that your content could be ‘vandalized’ is VERY real, and that this should be taken into consideration when utilizing this web 2.0 technology.

  3. mmaceach said

    If the content is that sensitive then it shouldn’t be published on a wiki. If you are using a wiki, then you should probably, as you say, take vandalism into consideration. But, if vandalism occurs, you shouldn’t chastise the community. A wiki is open to editing, whether ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and I dont’ really see a problem with that…

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