Writing the Wiki Project

The WritingTheWikiProject is ongoing. Students and other participants are invited to develop pages and areas of the Weblogs and Wikis wiki to address theories and practices of writing on wikis and weblogs.

Any topic applying to writing / contributing to a wiki is a starting point. We'd like to stay focused on wikis rather than blogs, but acknowledge that they intertwine. Any participant may start a page or introduce a topic.

The WritingTheWikiProject is a way of practicing WikiWriting: the collaborative, collective, (hyper)textual group-work that we all know and love, and fear a little. The WritingTheWikiProject gives the people that pass through the Weblogs and Wikis wiki a shared task and point of focus, a common point of discussion, a way to leave a contribution behind for others to develop further (and a way to earn points for the course).

It's not a dictionary and not an encyclopedia

We're not interested in writing in NPOV or creating dictionary definitions. This wiki is a space for learning and enjoyment. The WikiWords we use are not definitions or names but topics: something to write about, consider, ruminate, connect, network, extend. When we write WikisAndAcademicWriting, we don't propose an ending but a topical opening. Think debate and exchange rather than encyclopedia entry.

Trunks and Off-Shoots

The focus of the WritingTheWikiProject is writing on and for wikis, addressing theory and practice. But we understand that ContextIsEverything. Shoots develop branches, branches develop leaves. So we encourage development off of the main trunk: rhizomes, runners. We're WritingInAnAcademicSetting, which must include considerations of self-expression, and attending classes, and dealing with professors, and academic freedom, and technological breakdown. Some of us are becoming teachers; some of us are becoming writers; some of us are becoming scholars, and we know that each perspective focuses attention differently. We understand hypertext. And so we encourage off-shoots, digressive development, knowing that if the text has a place to create a new link, it's just aching to be developed in a linked node.

We might branch to consider everyday life as the ultimate context for wikis and writing. And we might branch to consider other issues about writing and wikis that are not immediately concerned with writing on wikis.

Contributors can refer to the StyleGuide when in doubt. Or update and revise the StyleGuide.

How to Proceed

Starting the project in class. The idea is to organize (and commit) face to face, then work online. Regular visits to the page(s) under work is vital. Working in ThreadMode or DocumentMode or RefactoringPages is up to each contributor at the moment of their contributions.

You can get started on a topic by way of a reading (this tends to help ground the page in existing ideas) or by following a Seed or a Topic listed on this page. Or by visiting any page on the wiki. Or starting a new one by creating a new WikiWord.

Best suggestion: Start by reading outside the wiki, in another area, or one of the readings on PreparingForWikis, or by cruising Meatball Wiki or CommunityWiki. Weak ties, remember: they bring in new information.

And if nothing you find winds your watch, start a new topic. It's a wiki, after all.

Method
Adapted from https://www.socialtext.net/medialiteracy/getting_started_with_wiki_work.

Discussions between wiki users most often contain interesting arguments and information; refactoring these into a compact text is a valuable contribution for future reader-contributers.

0. Form a group with a shared interest.
1. Start a page or locate a page to develop further. Make sure others in the group know where it is.
2. Put a first draft up. It doesn't matter, and is actually better, if it's incomplete.
3. Group members visit to comment and discuss the draft above and below the double line. Add to the draft.
4. Refactor comments into the draft text (you can opt to leave the original discussion on the page)
5. As you write, turn any relevant names, etc. into links to other wiki pages by using WikiWords.
6.Revisit the page a few days later. Check the revision history. Did anyone else contribute to your new page?
7. Revisit the page a few days later. Were your modifications all preserved? If not, see if you can figure out why.

Seeds

A few exercises from 2006 - 2009


Some starting topics

Some of the pages listed here start outside the Weblogs and Wikis wiki. This is intentional and appropriate. We will link back to our starting points, knowing that the target changes. Some of the pages listed here start with and draw on the ideas of on theorists and writers outside the wiki world. This is intentional and appropriate. We provide bibliographic details when appropriate.

Contributers will find more topics as they read these starting points, and are welcome to create new topics in existing topics. You're always invited to return to a seed as a way in to contributing.






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