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Where the Wiki Things Are

We’ve just put online our Fall 2004 issue of our office’s publication, the mcli Forum, and am finally glad I can share with you the featured technology interview I did with Brian Lamb, perhaps not so cleverly titled as “Where the Wiki Things Are”.

How do you help people make the “Aha” step from that first look of puzzlement when you describe a web site that anyone can edit or destroy?

I think when they begin to understand that the users are in control; that though they may sacrifice some functions such as security and organization, they gain a great deal of speed and autonomy. It really requires doing to become a believer.

I do have one gimmick, where I invite people in the audience to erase or deface all of my materials. Then I restore my stuff with a few clicks of the mouse. That really is the key to the notion of “Soft Security” (which underlies this approach). It needs to be easier to fix damage than it is to inflict it.

Lamb Chat The fun thing about this interview was we conducted it all via iChat, as alluded to a few months back.

A bonus for the web version that the print one lacks are a few more wiki sidebar resources (such as Brian’s rockin’ NMC show, Wired for WikiPhonics). We also have in the online article a full transcript of the iChat session [56k PDF].

The transcript was rather easy to accomplish- the session was saved from iChat as a iChat file, and simply by printing to PDF, it comes out nicely formatted (though it lacks the iChat icons…. I am the Dog and Brian is the Skeleton ;-)

Again, the format of doing an interview by chat was easy to pull off an effective, especially if interviewer and interviewee have the questions arranged a head of time. There of course is some lag as both are trying to be more clear (while typing) then just sloppy chit chat. I would definitely use the approach again…. anyone want to be interviewed for my Spring 2005 article??

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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