Tuesday, February 13, 2007

wiki vs blog

You have a problem, a lack, a need. How do you solve, provide, fulfill it all by yourself? You can't and you know you can't.

You have to turn to others, their books, speeches, research, insights, anecdotes, recommendations, much of which exists online in blogs, white papers, discussion lists, web forums, bulletin boards, PDFs, video, or podcasts.

You could build a sandbox and invite others to come play in it. Collaborate. Contribute. The easiest way to do this is to start a blog or a wiki.

Team blog or collab wiki?

Every business needs a blog and every blog needs a wiki.

"But wouldn't a team blog accomplish the same result: collaboration?"

No. A team blog still has a group of voices expressing individualistic viewpoints, in reverse chronological order, with posted articles slipping down the scroll slopes, disappearing beneath newly posted items, until they're off the home page and into the archives.

The team blog is like a pile of postings that people keep adding to. The blog has a predominantly vertical structure (drill down), whereas the wiki is somewhat more horizontal (fan out) with verticalizations.

With a blog, you voice your opinion.

With a wiki, we work together to solve a problem or build a treasury of information, insight, inspiration.

A blog is a home. A wiki is a village. A blog revolves around a person or team. A wiki revolves around a problem or opportunity.

A blog is trapped in the "listen to me" while a wiki is necessarily a "listen to us" or "listen to it", i.e., the wiki workspace of anonymous contributions that build into a grand treasury of user-customized information and a tool for organizing and planning grassroots interventions upon civic problems.

While a blog is like a book, usually single authorship, a wiki is more like a library, with multiple authors, but a library where the books are bleeding into each other in fluid overflow of informational auto-aggregations: the seeking becomes the making.

Blog: you write articles that others can add remarks to.

Like a benevolent dictator, voicing a single opinion or limited expertise. A vibrant and worthy community can be formed around a topic, but it is also circling idolatrously around a single individual.

Wiki: we all write articles that we all can enhance, correct, improve, delete, expand upon, or question.

Like a club where everyone is a motivated, passionate, fully participating member. Rather than revolving around the hub of a solo personality, the wiki is in orbit around a communal problem, a group task, a team architecture.

For example, I wish to learn, very rapidly, about publicity. As I learn PR practices, I add them to my Fast PR wiki. I also will invite PR professionals to help me build a treasury, a vast repository of publicity insights, stories, and techniques.

That way, I'll pool the expertise of others and we, both contributors and audience, will grow in understanding the secrets of Viral Publicity.

Is wiki media?

A sub-set of "social media" or is wiki more an "online community" that is doing something together, rather than just "reporting" on it?

Even better: wiki can be a by-passing of mediated intervention and invasively carving out a cavern of secret lore made common and orchestrating public response based on this information aggregation.

Wiki dissolves the division between hearing about a problem (news) and getting off your butt and doing something about it (activism).

Wrenching politics (social responsivity to civic problems) away from politicians and lobbyists, by constructing grassroots, non-partisan collaboration project zones online.


Grayson said...

As mentioned over at MediaShift...

Personally, I love tending my blog, just as I enjoy tidying ("Hazel-ing") my home and my garden, and making them all pretty and cozy. Wikis are sooo impersonal. Useful of course, but blogging is better. For me.

CK said...

"A blog is a home. A wiki is a village. A blog revolves around a person or team. A wiki revolves around a problem or opportunity."

This is the most apt way I've seen it written. Beautifully stated.

And Happy V-day to V. Or actually, P (Pluto).