Ken Manheimer <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:

> In fact, i'm *really* interested in "turning answers into stories".  That
> is, not just getting answers to questions, but preserving them in a way
> that makes them easy to find when they're next needed - organizing them so
> they collectively serve to describe the topic they're about, to make the
> topic, as a whole, discoverable.  While i think there are many modes of
> discussion that can serve this purpose, depending on the application and
> collaborative context, i think mailling list discussion threads need more.  
> They're a step towards that building-together, but fail to organize beyond
> that - so the answers they provide are fragmentary glimpses into the topic
> at hand.
> One key way wiki documents help bind the fragments is by providing more
> "fixed points" around which discussions can range.  The fixed points
> are not immutable - they can evolve - but they're easy to point at, and
> provide a definite manifestation of the topic at some stage of its life.

That's a good point.  Mailing list threads are great if you're around
when they come up.  After that, searching is doable, but not easy enough -
witness that the same threads tend to come up for any list.

One good quality of lists is that if you can tell your reader to
organize threads, then the discussion is broken up and shoved in your
face for you piece by piece.  In a wiki, on the other hand, you have
to return to the same page, find where you were last, and actively
look for changes.

> The proposals site is one example where definite subjects are
> at hand.  As someone behind the WikiNG proposal, who *wants* to be able to
> reap the suggestions and details from a discussion, but knows i won't have
> the time for a while to actually concentrate attention on it, i dread
> having to collect all the messages, for later review for harvesting.  
> Furthermore, messages on the mailling list tend to diverge more and
> farther from the topic, than they do when placed within the wiki.
> What i'd like the best, for now, is to have discussion happen on the
> mailling list *when someone wants to feel something out*, *and then
> they're responsible for summarizing in the wiki discussion page, if they
> have anything to harvest*.

Note that we keep on acknowledging that the different fora are better
in different ways, and that what we keep on wanting is the right way
to communicate and propagate between the fora.

Here, you want it to be easy to pop a thread into a wiki.  Something
like a thread-to-wiki feature would be nice - tell the wiki "flatten
this thread & make a page for it", then edit it by hand.  But it's
still a one-way link, really, the best you can do is post a final
message to the thread - 'see the wiki for further discussion'.  Which
isn't that bad, really.

What I really want is for the different fora to just be interfaces on
the information.  I'm not sure how, it isn't that realistic, I can't
think of an implementation without it getting overfeatured.  Something
like wiki edits being reflected in the mailing list archive.  Nah.

Karl Anderson                          [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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