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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Wikicamp '07: Organisation through chaos

What happens when 350 passionate people congregate without a plan, under one roof? Expected answers would range from pandemonium, break down or any sort of organisation and possibly stampedes. Yet at the Wikicamp, the crowd quickly organized itself and ‘sculpted’ the day’s proceeding as it went. This simultaneous stirring to organisation was not new to the crowd. They had come to the camp precisely because of it.

Wikis work on this formula of collaboration towards organisation. By definition, Wikis are websites which can be altered by anyone who views it. Thus users change the content of the website as they browse through it. The Wiki carries material that has been contributed and edited by a plethora of users. Overtime the Wiki’s material represents the aggregate of all the views on a particular topic, thus giving the user holistic information on the topic in the wiki.

Wikicamp reflected these values of Wikis. People from across the world came to interact and debate on how the wikis work and what their possible future could be. Like a wiki, the camp had no organised structure; every member could start a talk, question or contribute to the existing topics. This lack of structure, created a mood for the ‘law of two feet’, as explained by blogger Kiruba Shankar “in English, law of two feet means that if you feel bored, feel free to move your two feet. Don’t sulk, move out do what interests you”.

Although there were no ‘speakers’, Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, the online user contributed encyclopaedia, became the fire starter, fuelling and igniting the discussion. “Wikipedia is like Rock’n’roll, some people will always tell you not to listen to it. But just because they say so, doesn’t mean that people will stop listening to it” said Wales. He started the camp by discussing his experiences with wikis, research on programs to be used with Wikis and possible revenue generation models.

The camp transformed into a user guided forum, where various wikipedia content generators and other discussed possibilities of using wikis. The presence of G Badani (one of the most prolific Indian Wikipedians) and Sundar( a writer for Tamil Wikipedia) also added flavour to the camp.

Link: Rajan.wordpress
Link: MoMo India Chapter

1 comment:

Vallar said...

I too attended this wiki camp it was useful one for me. Its really good to see abt wiki camp in this blog. Good work.
Please also visit . They have several useful information for Indians.