Tag Archives: democracy

Wikipedia power structure: Anarchy, Bureaucracy, Despotism, Democracy, Meritocracy, Plutocracy, Technocracy … and everything in between

There is an interesting essay over at meta.wikimedia about Wikipedia power structure: Wikimedia’s present power structure is a mix of anarchic, despotic, democratic, republican, meritocratic, plutocratic, technocratic, and bureaucratic elements.
Wikipedia - VeteranWow! The entire self-reflection of the Wikipedia community is amazing and the topic is very interesting.
Personally I find interesting how much these policies and ethos are created by the community (the humans) and how much they are created by the socio-technical system (the Mediawiki software). My impression is that the software influences a lot and the same community will perform very differently under different softwares: I think it is often mentioned that Wikis work because it is very easy (easier?) fix things than destroying them, but this is a feature of the software and of the buttons and functionalities (such as rollback) that the software gives to users.
Many of these points resonates in me since I read the glorious book by Lawrence Lessig Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace but now I’m in a position to test them … at least in Wikipedia! I guess I would be classified as a technocratic ;)

The essay is released under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License, so, just because I can, I copy and paste the original HTML after the jump (and most links are of course broken). Enjoy!
Continue reading

Digg spy fullscreen

digg.com/spy ajaxy shows in real time every action happening on Digg: a user submitting a new story, a user voting for or against a story or commenting on it. Pretty impressive ongoing picture of a lively community (below iframed for your convenience, shoot an eye while reading the rest).
I use this web page fullscreen before my presentations about anything2.0 (you know, the “let’s wait few more minutes” period in which the organizers hope 5 additional people’ll show up somehow doubling your audience). I think it unconsciusly introduce many of the memes that will percolate through the presentation (user participation, wisdom of the crowds, …)
I kinda remember someone called digg.com/spy “democracy in action”, I would not disturb a concept such as democracy for this but surely it is a rare example of transparency which surely contributes to making the system less of a black box.