Perhaps the SIKM wiki could start off as 1) a place to articulate and
refine the purpose of the group and 2) a Capture and Reorganization
tool for the mailing list.
1) A wiki is a good place to define and evolve a set of concepts.
Unlike in email, wiki-based content is not scattered across
disconnected threads: it's all in one place, and can be continually
refactored to improve the Signal:Noise ration. Yahoo Groups just
organizes by date, but for everything else you have to search, and
there is no way for readers to improve the quality of the content.
Our first purpose for using wiki could well be to define our
requirements for a different online space. A wiki may or may not be
sufficient, until we've defined and agreed I don't think we'll know.
Whereever we go the hard bit is likely to be to get engagement in
another online place. The "nice" thing about email is that it's
available to everyone everywhere. We all have email, even when
disconnected. Not everyone uses RSS and its read-only anyhow.
This leads me to my next point.
2) It's possible to automate such that the wiki captures every email
that comes through a mailing list. We can start by having the intent
that not only are conversations captured as they occur today, but, so
that as time passes, the message of each conversation can be reworked,
for example to include extra hyperlinks and landing pages to cater for
additional purposes. In itself, capture-for-reorganization is
On a wiki, nuggets can be surfaced, promoted, and made into root
concepts off of which everything else can hang. (This is not to say
that someone must reorganize content. No, it's just that a wiki has
this capability as an affordance. Reorganization is a constructivist
task, most valuable to the reorganizer. Newcomers may find such
articulation of other's concepts a useful way of learning. Old timers
will be able to see the ways in which newcomers are interpreting their
thoughts. This affords a tacit-explicit loop learning process which
people may or may not take advantage of.)
Martin Cleaver M.Sc. MBA
+1 416-786-6752 (GMT-5)