Wikipedia for ever

7 March 2005

Solana is right to enthuse about Wikipedia. What it shows is the power of what can be called co-creation.

Co-creation is very different from two things that have grown fast on the web: forums and blogs.

Forums are a kind of live letters page. They contribute to an argument or debate, but often ramble off into semi-private exchanges. Sometimes brilliant, other times unreadable to anyone else, they can be very uneven and time-consuming.

Blogs are multiplying by the thousands, even millions. They are competitive and very individualistic. Even when written jointly like this one, they  strive to make their voice heard, sometimes by SHOUTING or making things up (also known as lying).

Co-creation does something different. The breadth of the web makes it possible for many participants to improve and raise the level of the same shared offering.

Open source paved the way, drawing on technical specialism to protect itself.

Wiki has taken the leap and gone further to ensure unlimited public access. It is an inspiration whose lessons we want to learn and apply to openDemocracy.net.

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