EvolvingPages: verb and noun
Alt page name: wiki pages change

Perhaps It's better to say that wiki pages change, but evolve is more evocative, more inviting to further consideration. Think Darwin if you like. Or think Odysseus's ship. Or metamorphosis. Change is the concept. Choose your favored characteristic of change. The change I'm thinking of here is formal rather than semiotic.

The wiki page is a changing page. Pages are active

Pages start in one form and become another, replacing the latter with the former as each plank of Odysseus's ship. Unlike the word processed draft or the blog entry, the wiki page (like the entire wiki) remains active - evolving, positioned - for an extended period of time. It's open for business.

The open, provisional text is often pushed as one of the defining traits of electronic writing. But it's not the electonicness of the text that keeps it open so much as openness becomes a flag characteristic of the wiki mode. Blog entries once made are fixed. That fixity gives the blog its value. If we see a blog as a history of the blogger's thinking, the fixity attests to the validity of the history.

By and large, the development of the blog entry, the email message, et al, depends only on the local development of the single document, entry, posting.

But the development of the wiki at large depends on the continuing evolution of the pages. By its very definition, the wiki changes, which means the pages change. NetworkOfTopics

Writers can tap into this openness by returning to the document, not once, but repeatedly, by seeing the page as a changing document, something tentative. Wiki pages are in drafts in constant revision.

Teachers might tap into the nature of the active page, using it as a reason to return to what's been started, to re-see, to strip down and do again.

placing pages

Because the page will be returned to repeatedly, the writer needs to find a way to provisionally place it (link it to another page) so it can be found repeatedly.

To this end, the writer might create a provisional index or a drafting sandbox or a to do page or a DrawingBoard? to hold the link to the page.

Or a page started as NotesOnRhetoricOfWiki? might begin as a set of notes, but over time, as it develops, become a table of contents to those expanded notes. The evolutionary trick here is to name the page to encourage polyvalency while directing meaning.

refactoring by another name



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