The real meaning of… Wiki

Wikipedia might have more to do with the film Wickerman than you think…

Wiki is collaborative software that we’re supposed to thank Ward Cunningham for. Ha! His gift to the world was Wikipedia, which harmonises collective goodwill to raise the collective intelligence of the world. Supposedly. Its distant cousin Wikileaks, by contrast, seems to be about one man undermining the world’s intelligence agencies.

Some say Wiki culture is a derivation of the communal spirit seen in in Wickerman, a film in which a satanic cult puts Edward Woodward in a wicker basket and burns him in a sacrificial ceremony.

So who is right? If I look up ‘collaboration’ in my *dictionary, it’s right next to communism. Co-incidence? I don’t think so.

(*The Lexicon of Narrow Horizons - slim volume)

In Hawaii to do something wiki means to do it quickly. In cyberspeak, it means to do it collaboratively which seems to mean the complete opposite. Most great literary works would be ruined if edited by wiki. “Charles, we love your work but we have to change the intro. It’s either the best of times, or it’s the worst of times. We can’t say both.”

Besides, there’s something about group thought that is terrifying. When everyone agrees on something and they’re convinced their ideas are good, and a safely large consensus think yours are bad, it’s never long before a sanctimonious torch bearing mob is marching on your house and chucking bricks at the Vote Whatever poster on your window. 

OK, yes, I’m a hypocrite because I use Wikipedia every hour. Its payment system is a bit clunky isn’t it? What do you mean you don’t know? You mean you use a public resource, but never actually dipped into your PayPal account and made a small donation? Well, lookee here, we’ve got ourselves a bad collectivist. Get the wicker basket and get the fire going!

You don’t need technology to bring people together. Do you remember the days when you could come back from lunch with a back of chips and the entire company would materialise in front of you? But that system had to be ‘disrupted’ of course, because it didn’t involve worship of a glowing screen.


Also read:
The real meaning of… ‘As A Service’
The real meaning of… Bitcoin
The real meaning of… ChatBots
The real meaning of Disruptive Technology
The real meaning of… the e-prefix
The real meaning of… Futurology
The real meaning of…3G and 4G
The real meaning of… Hard-wired
The real meaning of... Information Age - interruptive technology
The real meaning of… Jabber
The real meaning of…. Killer apps, Kyoto, Keyword stuffing and Knowledge
The real meaning of… Legacies and Leverage, Leadership and Language
The real meaning of… Mobile, Machines and the Malware Man-in-the-Middle
The real meaning of… NAND
The real meaning of… Open Source
The real meaning of… Phishing
The real meaning of… Quantum Computing
The real meaning of… Ransomware
The real meaning of… Serverless Architecture
The real meaning of… Trolledge
The real meaning of… Unified Communications (UC)
The real meaning of… Virtualisation