Discussion groups tend to keep covering the same ground over and over again, because people forget what was said before. I think the invention of the Frequently Asked Questions, the FAQ, was a response to that. A lot of times just reading the FAQ is more valuable than joining the discussion group.
What you get as a wiki reader is access to people who had no voice before.
When people work code they can often see things I set out to do that they wouldn't notice otherwise. And there are no obligations to say, Ward you're brilliant, but sometimes they say, Ward you're brilliant. And that strokes my ego. Pride of ownership? You bet.
Over and over, people try to design systems that make tomorrow's work easy. But when tomorrow comes it turns out they didn't quite understand tomorrow's work, and they actually made it harder.
Many people have experience with a program that's gotten out of control. They have an idea. They think they know what they want to do. But when they go to put the idea in, the idea is forgotten by the time they've figured out how to put it in.
There's been an awful lot of discussion about what is or isn't simple, and people have gotten a pretty sophisticated notion of simplicity, but I'm not sure it has helped.
The blogosphere is a community that might produce a work. Whereas a wiki is a work that might produce a community. It's all just people communicating.
With wiki, you have to trust people more than you have any reason to trust them. In 1995, it was a safer environment, don't know if I could have launched wiki today.
People who understand their collective goals and values are pretty good at self-organizing -- as long as they are allowed to.
There is an art to knowing where things should be checked and making sure that the program fails fast if you make a mistake. That kind of choosing is part of the art of simplification.
We erased a problem by not trying to erase the problem, by saying, This is in the nature of what we do. It's really weird that it could be that simple.
Cooperation has a transactional nature, we agree it is a mutual good. Collaboration is deeper, we don't know what the transaction is, or if there is one, but if I give of myself to this collaboration, some good will come out of it. You have to trust somebody to collaborate.
When I was at Tek, I was frustrated that computer hardware was being improved faster than computer software. I wanted to invent some software that was completely different, that would grow and change as it was used. That's how wiki came about.
I can't tell you how much time is spent worrying about decisions that don't matter. To just be able to make a decision and see what happens is tremendously empowering, but that means you have to set up the situation such that when something does go wrong, you can fix it.
Before wikis, computer writing was all about the words. The computer could help you type them, spell them, hyphenate them, size them, shape them, and align them. But when it came to developing your thought, well, you were on your own.