Definition of Egomania

e·go·ma·ni·a (g-mn-, -mny, g-)
n.
Extreme appreciation or preoccupation with the self.
-American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary

EgoManiaMakesDifficultToWiki


Egomania Applied to Wikis

Wikis give access to MassedInterpretation of communal materials and opinion. The problem immediately arises that we need to be heard. Our own opinion is an extension of ourselves. The fact that upon a wiki that self is subject to the whims of anyone who might desire to change it causes trepidation among many who would otherwised be interested in joining this medium to their own repitore--thusly the egomania. A person's self given to the wiki is now the world's self, and this causes difficulty. With the wiki being a communal phenomenon, a person with a egomaniacal bent will resist their own self fading into the background of the larger whole.

Justification

It seems to be assumed within the egomania that the edits made to one's work on a wiki will be of the negative sort. This coming in the form of a random act of vadalism or a focused vendetta against the author. The concern for some is that one's work will be damaged seems to vastly outweigh the possibility that someone may have something worthwhile to contribute.

There is also a concern that, if creative work is posted, all rights the author had over the work are given up by virtue of it being posted to a wiki. Many wikis automatically apply a universal license to all things posted by users, so by posting to the wiki a user would be agreeing to release anything they write under that license. The majority of these licenses allow for free use of the information.
-OrieHouse, [others]



My hostility to wikis, therefore, sprang from a mistrust of communities and what I'll call "collective creativity". A mistrust that is oddly inconsistent, given that I'm such a fan of open source software:
in his article Wiki Epiphany Delacour goes on to list the different media he uses on the web despite his mistrust of communities. I think that it is important to note that this kind of mind set, I believe, is buried deep into college student mentalities. Those of us that haven't been introduced and regularly interacting with wikis feel this kind of 'Holy-er than thou' individualistic state of mind that make it difficult to become acclimated to this simple system of writing. We pride ourselves on creating writing that is of our own hands and the idea of allowing persons to contribute to that seems odd. In the realm of research it seems crucial, however, it is difficult for me to accept the appropriateness of it for personal works.
- AbiTarutis (Friday, February 16th, 1:39 PM)


What types of personal works are you referring to? If you mean journals or diaries, daily notes or using the wiki for a bulletin board than yes I agree it is a little weird to think of people you may not know offering critiques of daily habits. As a writer or researcher wiki's offer a lot of assistance. Many of the writing classes are done workshop style, which is what a wiki would allow. Except with a wiki one doesn't meet face to face in class, but instead trade ideas over the wiki. This allows for people from all over the world to offer their own perspective on poems, short stories, or even a novel. I like the idea of getting constructive (or even unconstructive) criticism, part of the writing and learning process is the ability to bounce ideas off of others. I am however nervous that once 'published' it is out there for the world to see, but I do have control over what I choose to post and all I need to do is excersise it.
AmandaBertilson



Personal works such as short stories, novels, or poems was to what I was refering. It is completely foreign to me to share that kind of personal work beyond the classroom. Bouncing opinions and thoughts off of other inquiring minds seems like a really good idea, however, my lack of experience with the wiki is rendering me a wiki nonbeliever. I am not certain as to why other inquiring minds would even care to comment on my writing. On the other hand, I think Wiki as a research tool is much more reasonable because experts from all around can offer their own expertise and knowledge. I suppose the same kind of insight can be gained by sharing one's personal works, however, I am still having a hard time finding the benefit of using wiki as opposed to just a blog to share writings. The differences are still a little blurred for me. Other than correcting what you find as erroneous on the wiki, can't you just comment on it in the blog and have the same result? I don't know I am just nervous to start using something beyond me know how! We'll see if this works!
AbiTarutis


When you start talking about that kind of writing, it does seem to be a bit strange in some ways. I've already stated in WhyAreWikisSoUgly that I think Wikis best serve the realm of non-fiction, but I can see some applications in this more "personal" work. I've recently been seeing a lot of novels written by two people working together. Maybe this could be one of the ways people collaborate on such a project? Many writers are trying new and crazy things, including releasing bits of manuscripts to fan communities before publication and things like that. What if an author were to post their writing to a Wiki while they were writing it, and other people could read it, comment on it, edit it, whatever. If we're talking about a novel that has a good fan backing behind it, but not so much commercial viability, what a wonderful way to get a book done with free volunteer editing. This is all running on the assumption that helpful people will outweigh the vandalism. One of the reasons I think a more closed environment can be useful. Sure it isn't professional, but something makes me want to see how it'd work at least once.
OrieHouse



The idea of putting my fiction work on a wiki makes me shudder. It doesn't have anything to do with others editing it, because I can choose to accept or not accept those edits, whether I leave them up or not. But in the article, the issue of copyright is briefly touched on. Wikis by their nature make it hard if not impossible to maintain any sort of control of your work. If you post creative work to a wiki, how can you maintain it as YOUR creative work. You can't. In fact, as far as I understand, to do so would violate the point of a wiki. Also there is another assumption: that Wikis are somehow sort of self policing. The unlocked front door, but with all the neighbors informally keeping an eye on things, especially in reference to creative work, I just don't buy it. Maybe I'm 'netjaded, but I've been involved in writing communities. Just how terribly petty and overall horrible people can be makes me feel real uncomfortable with the idea. Too often I have seen people just decided to have personal vendettas against another writer, form an internet posse, and do their best to harass whomever they've targeted into disappearing off the writing community. Why wouldn't a wiki style writing community suffer the same, if not worse issues? Ego is certainly a factor in this, but I don't think it's just in because of people having the idea that 'my work is above the editing of others', but also in petty rivalry and such. I have to admit though, despite all of what I just said, the idea mentioned about to use a wiki as a way to workshop creative work sounds way cool. I think it's a great idea, but only if it's a limited access wiki... but according to the article making a wiki limited access sort of defeats the point...

I think wikis work nicely for feedback if you already have a group of writers set up who want to critiqe each others stuff. These would also be the only people who can go in and change stuff around. The openness of a wiki I think makes it easier to focus on the writing versus the layout or template of a blog. Also whatever is being written can be right in front of the reader and lines or changes can be made right in the work instead of commenting, linking, or copy pasting. I do not think that limiting access completely defeats the use of a wiki. This is a limited access wiki, yet look how many people have been able to cotnribute their ideas and how quickly the amount said on a topic has already appeared.
AmandaBertilson

Well, the question then is do you listen to the article? Okay, what I'm about to talk about is a semi-established writer. They have managed to get some books published, but this one idea they really love isn't working with the publisher. The fans have heard the rough idea, and really like it, so the author thinks up a distribution system where you can purchase a username and password for the price of the book. My above scenario is put in place, but only for people who care enough about the project to pay for it. When the work is completed the author self-publishes it and sends a paperback to everyone that participated. It doesn't follow the "WikiSpirit" because it's commercial and somewhat closed, but I still think it has a sense of community. Not many fans of an author get to see the writing process firsthand and even take a part in it. Wouldn't that paperback they recieve in the mail mean so much more? I just think it's an interesting use of the technology.
OrieHouse


American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary-

e·go·ma·ni·a (g-mn-, -mny, g-)
n.
Extreme appreciation or preoccupation with the self.
ChrisSpieker

I see very well what your saying about this. Its your damned work why should the dipsticks have free reign?... but why then even have it editable by "fans" Or friends... The plan to have fans feedback can work well I've seen it applied a few times. But in that case you would want a more personalized wiki to begin with wouldnt you. There are ways to set some site to be un-editable. But these are more like message boards and do violate the Idea of wiki. 99.98 percent of people are actually well intentioned and relativly intelligent. Unfortunatly the loudest ones tend to be the dumbest as well. This issue is, in essence, The main issue with all wikis. But honestly I dont see how egomania enters into it. Its more like the feeling that your protecting your Child or your pet. You created it. Its a natural response. Egomania is more Thinking its too good to be changed not Its too good to give to an Irrate foulmouthed eightyearold... But thats just my two cents.
ChrisSpieker



I would have to agree with Spieker. I think egomania better defines Bloggers than Wikiers(?). Those contributing or even starting a Wiki page should know from the beginning that their work is bound for outsider editing. If you believe your thoughts and inventions solely belong to you and are perfect in themselves, then what would be the need to use a Wiki? This kind of work would be better off placed in a personal website or blog that could not be tampered with. Yes it is possible for a wiki contributor to feel maybe "hurt" when their additions have been edited, but that's why it is important to have an open mind when one enters the world of Wikis.
AnewRose
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