Wiki + Mailing List

Richi Plana myopenmoko at
Sun Jan 21 21:54:54 CET 2007

One of the great strengths of the open community is the myriad of inputs
coming from its members (ie. posts to a mailing list). Unfortunately, it
can also be one of its weakness. There is an increased probability of a
degradation in the signal-to-noise ratio. Also, discussions could go on
so many tangents that the nothing ever gets resolved. In other words,
chaos could ensue.

How about coming up with a system whereby we could keep that strength
(having all those inputs) and somehow channel them in such a way that
its easy to see every post related to a given subject instead of letting
important posts get lost in the myriad of other posts. Relying on the
Subject heading isn't all that reliable (there's one discussion about
the mailing list Subject header changes and the Reply-To header under a
Subject heading that has nothing to do with it). Using the Mailing
Lists' archive browser also doesn't help much to give the user a clear
picture of everyone's input on a given subject matter (unless there's a
way to view them all on one page that I haven't discovered).

I'm thinking of something like a combination of a wiki and a mailing
list. MediaWiki (used to power WikiPedia) uses a wiki system that has a
Discussion tab for each section. I've not explored it myself, but I
think the idea is that people can discuss a given topic in a mailing
list-like fashion and someone (or several someones) can go back to the
main subject page and distill all the useful and relevant information as
they come in.

I'm not advocating the use of MediaWiki. I'm just tossing the idea of
channeling all this creative resource into a more directed path.
(Although MediaWiki does seem like a step in the right direction.)

Richi Plana

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