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April 27, 2004

wiki roles and etiquette

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Posted by Liz Lawley

Heather James has posted her early thoughts on the application of Jenny Preece’s work on online etiquette to wiki behavioral and social norms.

Wikis don’t offer technical solutions to social problems; rather, wiki technology encourages or even forces the contributers to define and manage their rules of etiquette and behaviour. Through this process of consensus building, a culture is created that allows for a more complex set of interactions which is neccessary for people to manage and construct mutual understanding.

The post is motivated in part by an article by Preece entitled “Etiquette online: from nice to necessary” that appears in the April 2004 issue of Communications of the ACM; unfortunately, the article is not (yet) available on her site. With any luck she’ll put a copy up there soon for those who don’t have access to the ACM Digital Library, as she did with her 2002 CACM article “Supporting Community and Building Social Capital.”

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