May 13, 2006
Wiki Transparency

Transparency is a fundamental aspect of cooperation and a big topic in wiki and society. A topic which is completely underestimated. This page can not even scratch the surface, but it will try to do so eventually. Currently it's just a placeholder for future writing. If you are interested, just start a discussion here. -- HelmutLeitner May 13, 2006 11:47 CET

Features that make a ProWiki more transparent:


Transparency is an assymetrical property in cooperation. It provides vital information as an advantage for one side - this may hurt the other side which may want to avoid to be too transparent. But ... to make oneself or the own system transparent means also: to trust. Trust means very much online. Trust is social energy. You can build systems from trust. On the other hand, if someone shows you that he doesn't trust you, it becomes hard to cooperate.

A transparent wiki gives advantages to the reader, for example by readily showing its content. Many founder want to avoid this, when they have little to show, for example at the beginning of a wiki. They also often want to hide their identity, because they think to be not presentable enough. But this kind of thinking doesn't work out. Internet users are cute, they can spot such signs of disguise and insecurity - of intransparency - and will draw their conclusions to the disadvantage of the founder. There is nothing wrong with starting small, the biggest trees started from a small seed. Communities are not that much different.

BestPractise: As a founder strive for maximum transparency. Be in balance with who are, what you are interested in, what the state of your system is and how you label it, name it and present it to the public. If you are a student, you have an advantage over the university professor. If you are a simple worker, you will have more sympathies than a large corporation. Show your thinking and your dedication, trust them, be transparent and thus pave the way for others to join your effort.