I’m super impressed with the methods and efforts Mike Caulfield is doing for the FedWikiHappening – a bunch of folks are trying to hang onto the flying lines of understanding of the Smallest Federated Wiki. What he is taking us through feels much more effective that all of his demos, blog posts, and workshops combined. Learning be doing.
You can even see it in the punchiness of his last video (probably from spending all day addressing our “Why is it yellow”? “What happened to my edits?” “Why can’t I use Papyrus Font?”
I’m only incrementally getting a better understanding. The idea of using FedWiki as a gathering of notes, then going IdeaMining is shaping. But it runs against most of our intuition.
Learn by doing.
I was humbled my little note took on some action, getting forked and added to
I got lost last night, because I thought I could fork it back and edit, but every attempt gave me the dreaded OHoD (Orange Halo of Death), meaning my changes never left my computer. I was a bit frustrated, and for some reason I glanced at the bottom and noticed that I was not logged into my own wiki (I thought I used the option to remember my login for 30 days, buts that with Persona, not FedWiki).
A bit of the terminology I find confusing is the multiple meaning (and use of the button) of
forking. To be, and in my quasi experience of using versioning systems currently github), and in Wikipedia – forking refers to the splitting out of code (or anything) to a new copy to be changed.
So, yes, it makes sense to fork a copy of someone else’s FedWiki page to my own local copy, where I can change it. And the federation works, people can see (if they can parse the little chicklet patterns) or check Recent Changes to see its evolution. But forking, to me is always the branching out, new copies.
But “Forking Back” is not something I see in the way github works. Typically, someone submits a pul request so the original article owner can absorb changes. But then again we are talking ideas, and getting away from a canonical owner. In FedWiki, it’s more like:
Only with many more twists. So we end up joining our own spawned chain of changes.
I will add another bit of commentary- the changes that people did were appended as “Commentary”
So it’s a familiar challenge of wikis in that there is a perceived sense of “ownership” of that note, so people do not want to trample it, so they attach it to the bottom, like blog comments. It’s not a problem. I can go in and do some massive re-arranging and absorb it into a more whole of an article (if it merited the effort).
If I get the way Mike envisions it, rather than attaching commentary, people would start recasting it in their own context.
What do you say Mike? Is this the way your students approach it first?
Of course, I have yet to start my own forking of other people’s stuff.
Top / featured image credits: cc licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by PMillera4: http://flickr.com/photos/pmillera4/9042913937