Wikis Destroy Individual Creativity


Wikis inherently support and encourage collaboration. Contributors to Wikis create content knowing that any user can modify or tamper their work. Since each Wiki has multiple authors, and every page has been tampered with by many, individuality is lost.

As part of the creative process, many value the idea of IntellectualProperty. Normally when an individual creates content in a traditional medium such as writing a book, producing a video, or taking a photograph, the work instantly becomes copyrighted. The creator of the work is the only individual with rights to distribute, transform, adapt, and share the created work. These laws protect the idea of individual creativity, ensuring that content producers benefit fully from their creative efforts.

However since Wikis very often have multiple authors, copyright laws become very confusing. The openness and collaboration aspect of Wikis make its ever changing content hard to be claimed under copyright. Hope R. Botterbusch and Preston Parker write:
"Authors seem to agree that the current understandings and usages of copyright laws are inadequate to deal with open access, collaborative spaces where there is a strong desire for improving the content along with properly compensating the contributors" (7).

Current copyright laws make it difficult for individuals to benefit from their creative efforts in collaborative spaces. This might discourage some to contribute their ideas to a Wiki.

Perhaps make sure to publish your work in a blog as well as a wiki:

I guess one way to protect your work via copyright on a wiki is to publish the work elsewhere first (on a personal blog, for example), and then simply link to it from within the wiki (instead of just publishing the work on the wiki and nowhere else). You can write about your work in a meta sort of way in the wiki, while keeping the original work intact in a space where it is protected by Copyright. Obviously, this may get complicated. For instance, if you intend on using a wiki to flesh out ideas and possibly solicit advice/commentary from other wiki users (perhaps in regards to a novel in progress or an extensive nonfiction article which requires a considerable amount of research [and you have hopes to cut down on research by eliciting participation from other users who might end up doing some research FOR you]), it is entirely possible that while you are formulating ideas (solely) in the wiki someone might come along and 'steal' your idea. I guess that if this is the way you prefer to work, this is just a hard reality you will possibly have to face. I would recommend drawing up your preliminary notes and whatnot on a word processor or in a good old-fashioned notebook if you have a debilitating fear of this unlikely thing happening (I think most people would prefer to come up with their own ideas instead of scouring wikis for 'jumping-off' points). TonyLien

The Writing on Wikis

Often a complaint about wikis is that the writing required is inherently destructive to creativity. Although there are those who use WikisAsAPersonalNotebook, most pages have much more in common with the attributes of DocumentMode. The writing is impersonal and third-person. The writing done on wikis is for the Public, and is in most cases informative writing that is open-ended to evoke cooperation and discourse from other members. However, even with this being the case for most pages of a wiki, there is still much room for CreativityInSynthesis.

Anyone who visits a wiki, and any page within, has access to edit. This ability in itself allows for creativity. This is synthesis in action. A wiki thrives on CollaborativeWriting and CollectiveWriting. Individuals are meant to work together, in all ways such as ThreadMode and DocumentMode to create and share knowledge. To edit, change, and improve the content of the wiki. In working toward this goal, the actions one takes are quite creative, not inherently destructive.

One chooses what information to keep and what to add. They decide what they will take from a wiki and what they will give in return. Depending on one's perspective and ability to see a more abstract form of creativity, there is much choice and room to explore and to be creative on a wiki.

Short and simple, the Oxford English Dictionary defines creativity:
"The faculty of being creative; ability or power to create."

It would seem that, again, wikis are not far off from representing what it means to be creative.
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