To address the two specific examples of wikis, there are some clear differences between their approach to building a community resource and what we did in Davis as well as what we propose. The most glaring difference, even at first glance, is that both of these wikis use the standard, off-the-shelf Media Wiki software. This software is general-purpose and, while it is very popular, is not well suited to a local community wiki. By contrast, Davis W...
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...Each local wiki has to develop naturally to serve the specific needs and interests of the local community. While it is valuable to learn from other communities, it is a mistake for a new wiki to try to copy the content or organizational structure of a mature, successful wiki. Different types of content and organizational paradigms will be appropriate in different communities, depending on geography, language, culture, demographics, and the individual talents and interests of the contributors. It is important to let the character and values of the local community pervade the local wiki.
In recent years we have covered all of these points in conversations with community leaders and various interviews. For a good outside perspective on what made Davis Wiki a success, we recommend reading the Neiman Journalism Lab interview or one of the other articles, attached.
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