Green wikis and development wikis

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Appropriate technology open collaborations
Appropriate technology restricted collaborations
What makes an open collaboration
A history of Open Source Appropriate Technology
Green wikis and development wikis
Non-wiki collaborative sites for open appropriate technogy
Open knowledge for international development
Writings on Open Source Appropriate Technology
Open patents and social structures for open design
Akvo ATOC - Conclusions and recommendations
Recent changes


For summary articles, see green wiki and open development wiki.

There have been many green wikis, dating back to Ekopedia (started in 2002), Village Earth's Appropriate Technology Wiki Project (started in 2004) and Wiki Green (started in March 2006) - the last two of which have since joined forces with Appropedia, and the first of which is currently in discussions about a merger. (See Appropedia:Tributary wikis for a complete list of merged wikis - these wikis are not listed below.)

-- insert edit count and page count in 0,000 format)


Contents

[edit] Table

Active wikis with a focus on green living, international development, appropriate technology and related subjects, starting with the most active wikis, include the following. (If you find one that is inactive, please mark it Inactive and move to the bottom.)

Some fields have not been filled in (to complete every detail for every wiki would be extremely time consuming), but feel free to update and add to the table. (Leave the details on the talk page if you find the table markup confusing. We hope to have an easier way to edit tables, in time.)

Legend:

Topics:
  • G = Green green issues (specific or general)
  • A = Activism and/or politics in sustainability.
  • Dev = Human and international development topics
  • ID = International development, poverty, and humanitarian aid
  • HD = Human development more generally, not necessarily in less developed countries.


Notes:

  • This is a sortable table - click the icon on each column heading to sort by the various criteria - including activity ("Edits in 30 days), number of pages, and topics.
  • Activity is assessed by the number of edits in 30 days, with certain exceptions.[1] This is not a highly accurate measure of activity, as edits vary widely in size and quality - however it's a useful initial indicator. This number is followed by "RC" which is a link to RecentChanges for 30 days, where available.
  • In some cases the wiki only allows the last 7 days to be viewed; in this case an estimate is made for 30 days (multiplying by 30/7), and this is noted.
  • Start date has sometimes been based on when the main page was created, when other data has not been found - in these cases it is marked.[2] This could be an underestimate of age in some cases, if the wiki or the front page has moved.
Project Focus/scope Green? Act? Dev? OD
Start date; launched by. License[3] Pages[4] Edits in 30 days[1] Notable features
Appropedia A very broad resource on sustainability, international development and appropriate technology. G HD, ID OD 2006-04-04; Independent (Appropedia Foundation)[5] CC-BY-SA 3,905[6] 1,881 edits in 30d[7] est. from 7 d count of 439; may vary widely.[8] RC
Greenlivingpedia - Green buildings and green living in mainstream Western, urban settings. G 2007-02-11; Peter Campbell & Rob Janson, background in IT, an interest in green building? GFDL, presumably moving to CC-BY-SA 0,444[6] 0,319 edits in 30d[7] RC
Coastal Wiki Ecology and the natural environment of coasts. G 2006-11-24; ENCORA - joint program of various European networks (governmental? NGO?) Undefined[9] 1,101 0,908 edits in 30d,[7] est. from 7 d count of 249. RC Restricted to approved scientist contributors.
BioenergyWiki Biofuels, bioenergy sustainability, and related issues. G 2004-08-05; BioenergyWiki CC-BY-NC-SA 0,560 0,188 edits in 30d, [7] RC
Pure Energy Systems Wiki a.k.a. PES Network, Inc. Zero-point energy[10] as well as less controversial forms of alternative energy. G 2004-08-05; Pure Energy Systems a.k.a. PES Network, Inc. GFDL 3,276 0,446 edits in 30d[7] RC
Open Source Ecology
(The Factor E Farm wiki)
Open design appropriate technology; self-sufficiency, living off the grid, documenting Factor E Farm's technological development. The nuts and bolts of sustainability. Open Source Ecology. G HD OD 2007-08-20; Marcin Jakubowski, hands-on appropriate technologist. Dual: GFDL 1.2, CC-BY-SA 3.0 0,275 0,248 edits in 30d[7] RC
Osemidmo edits in 30d[7] [ RC] Open design appropriate technology; self-sufficiency, living off the grid, related to Factor E Farm. A group connected to Factor E Farm & the Open Source Ecology wiki. 0,006 0,000 edits in 30d[7] RC WYSWYG editing (FCKeditor).
My ECO Guide wiki (People for Earth)]
About Inactive (404 error)
how to enjoy eco-friendly living and take serious action in a balanced way. G 2008-07-31; People For Earth CC-BY-SA 3.0 0,239 0,221 edits in 30d[7] based on 155 edits in 21 days. RC
Sola Roof Wiki Green building, specifically the SolaRoof design: "Liquid Bubble Insulation and Liquid Solar technologies."Richard Nelson G 2004-01-09; Richard Nelson a.k.a. Sola Roof Guy CC-BY-NC-SA 0,751[11] 0,000 edits in 30d[7] RC PmWiki, uses sub-wikis.[12]
Ekopedia (French version)
About: French, machine translation
Focus/scope G ID? 2004-07-02[13]; Jean-Luc Henry machine trans., an individual from France, in Canada. Licence Art Libre (Free Art License, FAL) 1,802 0,754 edits in 30d[7] est. from 7 d count of 176 RC Multi-lingual (mainly French).
Ekopedia
About
to define and explain the techniques allowing us to build a better life for us and our environment G Start date; (launched by Jean-Luc as with the French site?). FAL/GFDL (dual) 0,170 0,023 edits in 30d[7] [ RC] Multi-lingual (mainly French).
SDWiki
About
Open methodologies for sustainable business. G 2007-12-17; Sean McClowry, business and tech background. CC-BY 0,082 0,002 edits in 30d[7] RC
P2P Foundation - cataloging the big ideas around peer-to-peer collaboration, in areas including sustainability and development; connecting movements and projects with a common ethos. Focus/scope OD 2005-04-25; Michel Bauwens. CC-BY-NC-SA 2.5 plus fair use 6,966 0,487 edits in 30d[7] [ RC]
Wikia Green, a commercially operated wiki, launched in 2008. This was well over a year in the planning, with some difficulty finding suitable people to lead the project. Launched with much fanfare in the media. Focus/scope G 2008-??; Jimmy Wales.[14] License 0,748 0,249 edits in 30d. RC Wikia site
Climate and Conservation wiki
About
Global Climate Change (GCC) / Global Warming and how it relates to and affects the conservation of biodiversity. G Start date; David Wiedenfeld (contact (biologist/academic) GFDL 0,134 0,000 edits in 30d[7] Site now appears to be down.[15] RC
Envirowiki
About
Environmentalism and social justice (global but with an Australian focus) G A 2006-08-18; User:Naught101 GFDL, presumably moving to CC-BY-SA[16] 0,525 0,038 edits in 30d[7] RC
Global Warming Art
About
Graphic images and information about climate change; aims to provide easy access to the data and results that have framed the scientific discussion of climate change. G A 2005-11-17; Robert A. Rohde: Wikipedian, PhD student in physics GFDL 0,070 0,000 edits in 30d[7] RC
Technology and Social Action Wiki was established to foster dialogue and collaboration between activists in social movements, voluntary and community organisations and technology designers. Focus/scope A Start date; launched by. License (?)[17] 0,000, Currently inactive (server error)[18]
TipThePlanet
About
encourages discussion and the generation tips that benefit you and the planet. G 2006-09-15; CC-BY-SA[19] 0,425 0,009 edits in 30d[7] RC
Sustainable Community Action
About
To link up community and personal action for sustainability worldwide. A Start date; Wikia community.[14] GFDL[16] 1,639 0,703 edits in 30d[7] RC Wikia site
Wikigoodglobe, or "EcoWiki"
About
An enviroment and social justice wiki G A 2006-01-24; ??. Undefined[9] 0,124 0,000 edits in 30d[7] RC
Sustainable Ballard
About
Non-profit organization developing a grassroots vision of sustainability for the community of Ballard, (Seattle) G A 2005-10-25; local community. Undefined[9] 0,358 0,197 edits in 30d[7] RC
Swindon Climate Action Network
About
For Swindon Climate Action Network volunteers to share information with each other and with the wider world G A 2006-02-??; independent group of people from across Swindon. None found[20] 0,071[21] 0,032 edits in 30d[7] RC An "EditMe" web site, which is "a kind of wiki". Everyone involved with SCAN can edit.
The Sustainable Campuses project to empower students to lead initiatives on their campuses toward greater social, ecological and economic sustainability G Not found;[22]; Sierra Youth Coalition[23] (Not found) (?)[17] 0,020 edits in 30d[7] RC[24]
EcoReality[1] An actively forming ecovillage in the South Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada. G A 2005-02-05[25]; Jan Steinman/Saltspring Ecovillage Education and Development Society, EcoReality Sustainable Land Use and Education Cooperative" CC-BY-NC-SA 0,290 0,194 edits in 30d[7] RC
Cloud Forest Institute - About(pre-spammed version) Preparing students to forge a peaceful, sustainable, diverse, healthy, respectful, balanced, equitable, and hopeful future. G 2004-08-19; Start date; Cloud Forest Institute Undefined[9] 0,166 0,009 edits in 30d[7] RC
Critical Mass wiki Focus/scope G A 2006-06-19; Wikia community[14] GFDL/CC-BY-SA[16] 0,265 0,286 edits in 30d[7] RC Wikia site
Sustainability Wiki[2] Focus/scope G 2008-09-04; Luca de Alfaro & Ian Pye; hosted by UCSC Engineering Undefined[9] 0,001 0,000 edits in 30d[7] est. from 7 d count of 0. (Heavily spammed.) RC
PATA's Sustainable Tourism Wiki Focus/scope G 2007-12-20; Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Undefined[9] 0,050[17] 0,005 edits in 30d[7] [ RC]
2008-12-18: shutdown
WYSIWYG (Wetpaint)
The "Good Tourism" Wiki
Responsible tourism G 2008-12-18?; David Gillbanks (after being to shut down PATA's Sustainable Tourism Wiki) Undefined[9] 0,052[17] 0,005 edits in 30d[7] RC[26] WYSIWYG (Wetpaint)
Huddler's Green Home Community - Commercial wiki. Focus/scope G (?) March 2008 or later; Huddler.com, green commercial site. Copyright (?) 0,024 edits in 30d[7] RC
2People Focus/scope G A Start date; launched by. License (?) (no stats accessible unless logged in) Not obvious that some or all of the site is a wiki.
Green Infrastructure Wiki Focus/scope G Start date; launched by. License 0,119[17] 0,011 edits in 30d[7] RC WYSIWYG (Wetpaint)
Sustainable Indiana 2016 2007-01-08, 2016, sponsored by Earth Charter Indiana Sustainability in Indiana, USA. G Start date; launched by. License 0,098[17] 0,050 edits in 30d[7] RC WYSIWYG (Wetpaint)
Playgreen.org (About) Focus/scope G Start date; launched by. License (?)[17] 0,004 edits in 30d[7] [ RC]
Transition Towns Wiki, archived, with new activity at a new non-wiki site. Focus/scope G A Start date; launched by. License 1,054[27][17] 0,244 edits in 30d in main sections.[7] RC PmWiki. 96 subwikis, mostly locality based (structure.
It's Not Easy Being Green Wiki Focus/scope G A Start date; launched by. License (?)[17] 0,005 edits in 30d[7] [ RC]
Seattle Permaculture Guild Focus/scope G Start date; launched by. License (not found?)[17] 0,007 edits in 30d[7] RC (not clear if this includes subwikis)
PermaWiki Almost inactive (around 2 edits per month). Focus/scope G Start date; Wikia community.[14] License 0,203 0,008 edits in 30d[7] RC Wikia site
Stop Global Warming Almost inactive Focus/scope G A Start date; launched by. License 0,011[17] 0 edits in 30d[7] [ RC] WYSIWYG (Wetpaint)
Global Warming Art about climate change A 0,010[17] 0,000 edits in 30d[7] RC WYSIWYG (Wetpaint)
YesMagazine wiki Focus/scope G A ID? Start date; launched by. License 0,187 0,001 edit in last 30 days.[7] RC
Sustainability Wiki at Wiki Spot. Inactive Focus/scope G Start date; launched by. License 0,022[17] 0,000 edits in 30d[7] RC
Sustainapedia Northwest Inactive (server error) Focus/scope G Start date; launched by. License 0,078 0,000 edits in 30d[7] RC
Sustainapedia.com Inactive (not to be confused with the other Sustainapedia which merged into Appropedia.) Focus/scope G Start date; launched by. License 0,011 0,000 edits in 30d[7] RC
Bright Green Living G 2004-09-13; Worldchanging.com[28] CC-BY 0,449[29] 0,000 edits in 30d[7] RC
SFBayAreaGreen Green issues, restricted to students of San Jose State University. G 2008-10-16; CC-BY-SA 3.0 0,004[17] 0,001 edit in (est.) 30 days, 2008[30][31] RC restricted
CopperWiki Sustainability, consumer info. About - "gives us choices for living a healthy, useful and conscious life." 2007-07-09; [copperstrings.com CopperStrings] (About Us) Not specified (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d[32][7] [ RC]
Green Options wiki Green Options Media blog network (About). Commercial. G 2007-02 or 2007-01? (?) (?)[17] 0,007 edits in 30d[33][=40 RC]
Green Hotels, . Copyright (notice at bottom). (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d.[34] [ RC]
Green Museums - moderately active. (?)[17] (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d.[34] [ RC] WYSIWYG (Wetpaint)
Great Lakes Wiki - moderately active. It is unclear "User:Sysop" is a professor at Michigan State University and some or all other admins are also associated with this university. (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d.[34] [ RC]
Green Cooking Wiki "simple ways to green-up your cooking" Inactive - no changes from 28 Jul 2008 to present (21 Nov 2008). (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d.[34] [ RC]
The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts] Inactive Arts G Start date; launched by. License (?) (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d [ RC] Notable features
building-green wiki - A quick website for Brighton & Hove Building Green Inactive (no edits in 9 months to 21 Nov 2008). The About page on the main site says "Building Green has a wiki. You can access minutes of meetings and so on there." - But although it has a specific purpose, it apparently has not been updated, and "minutes" returns no results. (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d.[34] [ RC]
[http://www.greeninventions.net/ (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d.[34] [ RC]
WirelessAfrica wiki ICT4D, Africa, wireless ID 2007-06-08; Meraka Institute - ICT in Education, South Africa. Undefined[9] (?) 0,049 edits in 30d[7] RC
ICT4D.at
About
ICT4D: the Austrian Network for Information and Communication Technologies for Development. ID 2008-12-02; launched by. CC-BY-SA 3.0 0,010 0,098 edits in 30d.[31] RC Notable features
ICT4DWiki ICT4D ID Engineers Without Borders Australia[3] Start date; launched by. [4] 0,150 0,000 edits in 30d[7] RC Cross-login with phpBB forum (no longer active).
ICTology
About
ICT4D ID 2005-02-24; Ismael Peña-Lópe, lecturer at the Open University of Catalonia CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0[35] 0,399 0,024 edits in 30d[7] RC Spanish language interface to the same wiki
Solar Cooking Archive Wiki
About
Using solar energy to cook food and pasteurize water. Design, manufacture and promotion. G ID OD 2006-12-14; Solar Cookers International (see About)[14] GFDL (?) 0,182 edits in 30d[31] RC Wikia site; multi-lingual
Howtopedia (en)
About
Practical knowledge on simple technologies. G HD 2004[36];
Maud Chatelet & others, based in Zurich.
License 0,209 0,018 edits in 30d[31] RC Multi-lingual (French 58 pages & Spanish 11 pages)
Akvopedia Water: Water and sanitation subjects, especially low cost technologies. ID OD 2007-05-18; Akvo. GFDL[16] 0,093 0,084 edits in 30d[7] RC Akvo is working to integrate the knowledge resource with access and feedback mechanisms using mobile phone technology.
ClimateNetworkWiki campus community members and organizations that have come together to see how education institutions can create solutions to the climate crisis. G 2007-11-19;
British Columbia student organizations
GFDL 0,257 0,046 edits in 30d[31] RC
WaterWiki Water: HD 2005-08-02; UNDP CC-BY-SA 3.0 2,189 0,446 edits in 30d,[31] est. from 104 edits in 7 days[37] RC Notable features
OpenWater Wiki
About
Laboratory and field analysis of water quality HD Start date; the UNEP GEMS/Water Programme License (not found) 0,001 edit in last 30 days.[31] RC Based on Drupal (CMS)
Water Wiki
About?
Water: "hydrology, water rights, irrigation and any other topic which relates to water resources." G HD Start date; Wikia community.[14] GFDL 0,457 (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d.[31] RC Wikia site; Also in Chinese (About).
Water Wiki (UNC School of Government)
[sogweb.sog.unc.edu/Water/index.php/Water_Wiki:About About]
Water: "a place for experts and everyone else to share and refine their knowledge about water policy and law." HD Start date; launched by. License (?) (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d.[31] [ RC] Notable features
BCEOHRN Water Wiki Focus/scope G HD/ID Start date; launched by. License 0,009 0,000 edits in 30d.[38] RC Notable features
Atlanta Water Shortage Wiki Focus/scope HD Start date; launched by. License (?) (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d.[31] [ RC] Notable features
[http://argoedwater.wikispaces.com/ argoedwater Focus/scope G Start date; launched by. License (?) (insert edit count in 0,000 format) edits in 30d.[31] [ RC] Notable features
AdCiv.org (Advanced Civilization Wiki) Post-scarcity G HD 2005-08-22; Charles Collis GNU Free Documentation License 1.2 0,098 Pages 0,013 edits in 30d.[31] RC
Summer School on Global Sustainability Information on courses. G Start date; launched by. Undefined[9] 0,050 0,014 edits in 30d.[31] [ RC] A section within the Santa Fe Institute Event Wiki.[39])
KM4Dev wiki! Knowledge Management for Development ID 2007-01-07; launched by ? CC-BY-SA 3.0 NonCommercial 0,310 0,046 edits in 30d.[40]RC Community combines Ning-Dgroups-Mediawiki, active mailing list, & uses km4dev tag on Twitter.
KSToolKit Wiki Knowledge sharing, especially in international development. ID 2008-02-21; "tjordan3" (representing an organization?) CC-BY-SA 3.0 (in footer) 0,220 pages 0,013 edits in 30d.[41] RC Involves the ICT-KM Program of CGIAR, FAO and the KM4Dev.org community
GrassrootsWiki.org Technical solutions & processes esp for developing countries & crisis regions.[5] ID OD 2009-07; launched by? CC-BY-SA 3.0 0,032 0,000 edits in 30d.[42] [ RC] (spammed and almost inactive)
HurricaneWiki.org (formerly Tsunami Help wiki Emergency/disaster management ID, HD OD 2005 or 2004 as Tsunami Help Wiki? 2008-08-31 as HurricaneWiki?[43]; Hurricane Information Center public domain? 0,146 0,369 edits in 30d.[44] RC
Demotech Appropriate technology as solutions to poverty ID OD Start date; launched by. (?) (other parts of Demotech site are marked CC-BY-SA) (not found)[17] 0,018 edits in 30d.[45] RC PmWiki; some Spanish content.
WikiProgress Human progress, progress indicators HD 2009-10?; OECD. GFDL 1.3 0,491 0,148 edits in 30d.[46] RC
WikiGender Gender issues, incl in development HD 2007-09?; OECD. GFDL 1.3 0,931 0,141 edits in 30d.[47] RC Google Translate in wiki skin; Facebook Connect.
Joint Bioenergy Institute Wiki Bioenergy G Start date; Lead sponsor, U.S. Department of Energy's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). Non-commercial research use allowed 0,074 0,005 edits in 30d.[33] RC Notable features
StreetsWiki Livable streets, urban planning. G 2007[48] CC-BY-SA 3.0 0,299[17] 0,001 edit in (est.) 30 days[49] RC
WikiPH Public health HD 2007-05-10[2]; launched by. Undefined 0,145 0,000 edits in 30d.[50] RC
The Public Health Wiki Public health HD? 2007-06-16[2]; University of Manitoba Copyright is held by a university body 0,087 0,002 format) edits in 30d.[51] RC
openenergymonitor open source energy monitoring, tutorials on building energy monitors, solar hot water controllers etc G A OD January 2009 launched by Trystan Lea GNU GPL
Permaculture.info Permaculture G Start date; launched by. CC-BY-SA 3.0 330 0,000 edits in 30d. RC Was offline for an extended period, and has had serious spam problems. Update: Merging into Appropedia as of September 2012 (pending developer assistance and database cleanup).
Transition Cambridge Focus/scope G A Start date; launched by. None stated[9] [url-of-Special:Statistics-page Number-of-Pages in 0,000 format] INSERT EDIT COUNT IN 0,000 FORMAT edits in 30d.[34] [ RC] Notable features
EcoArchWiki Sustainable architecture - European examples G? Start date; launched by. None stated[9] [url-of-Special:Statistics-page Number-of-Pages in 0,000 format] INSERT EDIT COUNT IN 0,000 FORMAT edits in 30d.[34] [ RC]
Transition Ideas Student-led sustainability projects G A? Start date?; People & Planet Undefined [url-of-Special:Statistics-page Number-of-Pages in 0,000 format] INSERT EDIT COUNT IN 0,000 FORMAT edits in 30d.[34] [ RC] Not MediaWiki - bespoke platform?
Green Policy 360 Green policy for global greens G (2011 or earlier; Steven Schmidt & Dean Myerson (co-founders). Undefined 2,276 0,005[52] RC Notable features


This is by no means an exhaustive list. Spend some time with a search engine, and you could probably double this list or more. However most are minimally active at best.

This list is partly taken from Greenlivingpedia:Directory#Wikis, also under a GFDL license.

To be checked and incorporated:


[edit] International development wikis

Wikis which are focused on international development rather than sustainability per se, yet to be added include:

A list of these wikis including those focused more on international development (e.g. Akvopedia, Demotech,[17] GrassrootsWiki, Howtopedia, and the Solar Cooking Archive Wiki) is found at SWS included sites list - this is intended to be the basis of a cross-wiki search.

[edit] Writings

"I want access. I want well-informed opinion. I want stylish inspiration. I want one-stop shopping for information.
"Now, I know that all of this information exists out there, piecemeal. But that's exactly the point: I have to hunt for it, evaluate the credibility of each source, suss out whether I agree with their criteria and aesthetic. I have to work. I don't want to work that hard. I'm an American.
"We need to make this easy and fun, folks."
Discussion in comments leads to the decision to start a wiki - as explained in following blog posts.
Lays out in point form the steps needed.
Discussion in comments, including the idea of getting undergraduates involved (note: this has proven to be a valuable idea on Appropedia), and how to dealing with opinion and product information.
Announces launch, discusses first steps
As with the two previous posts (and most WorldChanging blog posts) the comments were active and ethusiastic.
"But the good is the enemy of the best. Even a good site can be a distraction, if it draws people in but fails to provide the best available content and the most vibrant community. And the best way to provide those things is to work with likeminded people who are already working on the same thing."

[edit] Very broad wikis

Other wikis have substantial amounts of content, in bodies of knowledge that are much more unrestricted in topic, but restricted in content type:

These in particular are very active. Many contributors are active across a range of topics that interest them - or simply help to maintain the pages, regardless of topic. This has been a very successful model - these are some of the largest wikis in terms of both contributions and traffic.

[edit] Analysis

[edit] Why do some succeed and some not?

Promises and enthusiasm are not enough - note the enthusiasm and promises of many commenters associated with the Bright Green Wiki, launched by the prominent and popular site, WorldChanging in 2004. The wiki never became active.

The backing of a high profile entity and individuals and broad media attention would seem to have potential to attract many contributors, but there may be limited "stickiness" to their involvement. Wikia has extensive experience with wikis, and chose not to launch until it was ready with active, committed support (possibly with a paid worker); the site has been more active than the Bright Green Wiki, yet the interest generated by the media attention has not led to a high level of activity beyond a few main contributors, who were already involved before the launch[verification needed] - i.e. it is active, but at this stage it is not one of the most active on this list. This may be seen simply as a matter of timing - the attention is certainly a benefit, and the site is in the consciousness of those who saw the news of its launch, but actually building a base of contributors can be expected to be a much slower process.

So what we see here is a relatively small conversion from reading with interest and commenting positively, to actually making contributions. And then most contributors make a relatively small number of contributions, relatively few going on to being active long-term contributors. Successfully growing the wiki requires improving these conversion rates and/or increasing the sheer numbers of people coming to the site in the first place. I.e. as a site's profile grows and more people come to contribute, the numbers may outweigh the lack of "stickiness."

Backing of solid organizations is also not a guarantee - the appropriate technology wiki was started by an NGO with a wealth of experience and knowledge, who seemed to find that it was not their core focus, and it was not feasible for overworked NGO workers to take on yet another project requiring intensive care. and even a UN body have had difficulty - note UNEP's OpenWater Wiki). Note that this is not to criticize these efforts - where they use open licenses, the work that has been done can be used elsewhere; and as wikis are a new technology, it is to be expected that there is a lot of experimentation

In other cases, of course, similar bodies have succeeded in establishing active wikis, for example UNDP's WaterWiki and the Solar Cooking Archive Wiki started by Solar Cookers International. In these cases there has been an individual who has maintained a committment to the wiki, and others who have contributed in smaller ways, very likely influenced by the active person.

Community and geographically specific organizations have variable results also. The backing of academics seems to be a potentially positive influence, where these academics involve their students in the wiki as part of their coursework. The students may or may not continue to be actively involved (Appropedia's experience is that the continued involvement is generally small if at all) but it does create a wider community of contributors who can be contacted with specific questions when needed.

[edit] The role of the group

[edit] Local groups

Multiple communities within a shell - this is the approach of Appropedia, but it has not yet been successful in attracting communities (either organizations or locally based organizations). Also of the Transition Towns Wiki, which has 96 subwikis, mostly locality based (see the structure), and of SolaRoof. These are both based on PmWiki, which allows for more customization of the interface based on the community currently being viewed; also more of a "tree" structure, which is perhaps more intuitive and more easily allows for the locality based structure to dominate.[53] Based on my own experience with wikis, and with my personal focus on locality-independent content, this strikes me as an inferior system from an information architecture perspective - however it does have a certain appeal, in terms of group identity and an architecture which is more easily grasped by the newcomer.

Note that although the local groups are very prominent in these two wikis, this is at least partly due to the fact that they have not created the same kind of locality-independent content. Both types of content are important, and finding ways to achieve both at the same time will be an important question for those in this area, in the next few years.

[edit] Collaborative design?

The main focus of most of these wikis is sharing knowledge in some form other than design. Exceptions include:

(****scroll through)

Non-wikis include: Projects with flexibility of input style:

  • The Open Architecture Network (OAN), using visual presentation, consistent with traditional methods of architectural design. The site uses an open license, but does not allow editing of other designs, or easily duplicating another project in order to "fork" the design.

Projects aiming at a more structured form of input, which would enable tracking of changes to the design in a way analogous to the diffs in a wiki page. This looks very useful where the issues revolve around the precise design, but may be less useful for gaining participation by less technical people, or where the main issue to convey is a broad design concept, and where there is flexibility in the details of the design (e.g. a briquette press made from old wooden crates or branches).

  • Sam Rose's project... (under construction).
  • Fab Lab. This appears to have great strengths in making prototypes and sharing designs in electronic form to be reproduced elsewhere, as well as for making "one-off" objects and very low production run products. It would be presumably be more costly for items that can be mass-produced.

Sharing of designs where lack of openness may be a restriction include:

  • Make
  • Instructables

These have some similar challenges to the Open Architecture Network, mentioned above.

[edit] Effect of merging

At face value, looking at the example of Appropedia (Appropedia:A history of collaboration), it may appear that merging has led to an activity decrease with in some green wikis - contributors from one of the wikis will tend to not contribute greatly to the combined effort. However, closer inspection of the timing of activity changes and broader patterns of wiki development reveals that:

  • A big part of it is that most wikis don't really take off anyway, and many become inactive, merger or not.
  • In some clear cases they become inactive before the merger. In these cases the merger has not helped with getting the participants involved again, in practice.

That's not to say it isn't a concern, and it needs further analysis.

The experience of Appropedia and WikiGreen suggests that merging is definitely best for visibility and traffic, and that brings more contributors. But the original contributors don't necessarily hang around - or, to be more accurate, don't necessarily start contributing again.

[edit] Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Minor" edits have been counted, as there is no consistent culture between users and wikis as to what is marked as minor. Bot edits are not counted. An attempt has been made to exclude welcome templates on talk pages; new user creation is also not counted, as there is no way of know to easily tell whether it is a serious editor or a spam bot account. Where spam and vandalism is noticeable, an attempt has been made to exclude this and the reversion of spam from the count. (While reversion of spam is a sign of collaboration, it is maintenance rather than creation of content.)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Based on the start date of main page, from its page history
  3. A compatible license is essential for sharing content between wikis. However, when there are a small number of active contributors (often the case in these wikis) it may be relatively easy to get content relicensed.
  4. For MediaWiki this is taken from the number of probably legitimate pages on the Special:Statistics page. For other wikis, an AllPages or Sitemap page is used where available, though this usually leads to a higher figure as it includes tiny stubs and empty pages. When none was found, a question mark is placed in this column.
  5. Founded by Lonny Grafman, university instructor; joined by a water engineer and an IT professional. Backgrounds: Appropriate technology, engineering, Wikipedia-editing, business, IT industry.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Retrieved 2010-11-20.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 7.30 7.31 7.32 7.33 7.34 7.35 7.36 7.37 7.38 7.39 7.40 7.41 7.42 7.43 7.44 7.45 7.46 7.47 7.48 Retrieved and calculated on a date between 2008-12-06 and 2008-12-17.
  8. Although all wiki contributions may vary widely, Appropedia's reliance on service learning may lead to a greater variation according to student activity. E.g. 498 on 2008-01-05, est from 20 d of 332 (it's unclear why the number of days shown in Recentchanges keeps changing.)
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 Under the Berne ConventionW the creator of a work automatically has copyright, thus undefined works are fully protected by copyright, under the law. Through the WTO as well as by nations signing the Berne Convention itself, this applies to most countries in the world.
  10. Zero-point energy energy, often claimed as being close to fulfillment, is regarded as pseudoscience by a great majority of scientists. It would require a fundamental rewriting of the laws of physics as we understand them. Even the proponents generally claim that their device
  11. PageList minus PmWiki pages, RecentChanges, SideBar, SubIndex, blank pages (marked with "?") repetitions of a particular userpage, and minus the second listings of main pages of each subwiki.
  12. Each subwiki can have its own sidebar and RecentChanges page
  13. based on main page; Foundation page machine trans. says 2002 - was this a wiki?
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Wikia sites are generally started at the initiation of an individual or group, though it's not always clear who this is. The Solar Cooking Archive Wiki (About) is one exception to this, being led in the beginning and until now by one organization. Wikia Green is another, being most obviously pursued and promoted by Jimmy Wales.
  15. 2011-07-03"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Currently GFDL, expected to transition to CC-BY-SA in 2009.
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 17.13 17.14 17.15 17.16 17.17 17.18 This is not a MediaWiki site, the count is of all pages, including stubs. Wiki navigation and tool pages (such as RecentChanges) have been excluded as completely as possible.
  18. Doing a Google search for Technology and Social Action Wiki site:otho.cms.shu.ac.uk gives no hits, suggesting that the site has been down for an extended period.
  19. The license seems to have been added to the footer using the skin, sometime prior to 17 May 2010.
  20. Tried site searches for permission, license, licence and "Creative Commons", 2010-01-02.
  21. This is the number of publicly visible pages - some pages are only visible if logged in.
  22. question sent by email by Chriswaterguy, no reply received
  23. Tax deductible charities, e.g. 501 c(3) in the USA
  24. Found by checking the "last modification" on each listed page, until it was found which changes were made in the last 30 days
  25. Started 2005-02-05 as S.E.E.D.S. wiki (defunct), content moved to EcoReality.org 2006-02-12
  26. go to Site activity and click (organize by) type.
  27. As it is a PmWiki, total pages are calculated as follows: 1441 pages in AllPages less 96 PmWiki pages, less 98 RecentChanges pages, less 96 SideBar pages, less 97 as the main page of each subwiki is listed twice. Of the resulting pages, some contain only "awaiting content" but it seems most do have content.
  28. Wiki Guide to Bright Green Living, which was then initiated by WorldChanging.com. Before being set up, "About 50 people have now either left comments offering to help or sent email." These expressions of interest did not follow through. September 13, 2004.
  29. Excluding pages with titles that clearly indicated they were spam.
  30. it's not clear how long the period shown is, but 1 edit on 13 Dec, viewed on 5 Jan, means at least 23 days; an edit from 1 Dec does not show here, so 28 or 30 days seems likely.
  31. 31.00 31.01 31.02 31.03 31.04 31.05 31.06 31.07 31.08 31.09 31.10 31.11 31.12 Recorded between 2009-01-02 and (to be determined). This may be affected by the Christmas period, and should be updated later (while leaving the Christmas period figure alongside it, for reference).
  32. spammed
  33. 33.0 33.1 2010-11-11
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 34.4 34.5 34.6 34.7 34.8 REPLACE THIS TEXT WITH DATE OF EDIT.
  35. An "ND" (no derivatives) license seems problematic for a wiki, given that by nature derivatives are being made constantly. However, this may make sense if the ND condition applies only to the finished product and not to individual contributions.
  36. The English main page was created 2006-11-13, (fr 2007-01-09 & es 2007-01-14) but About states 2004. Was this a different installation, different software, or just the planning stages?
  37. actually 5 days were showing, when this was checked on 2009-01-10 - which may be a glitch in the software, but it was assumed that there were no edits in the 2 days prior to that, 3-4 Jan.
  38. Last activity 2008-05-14 (checked 2010-01-17)
  39. Statistics take this into account.Recent change statistics taken from the "Related changes" function based on the main "Lectures" page (this also notes any changes made to the transcluded navigation template), and number of pages by counting links on the main page (31) & navigation template (18).
  40. 24 November 2009
  41. 25 November 2009; Wikispaces site, listed 10 "edited" events plus 3 "posted".
  42. 5 Dec 2009; history can only go back 7 days, only spam and nonsense bot edts observed
  43. earliest history of the main page is 2008-08-31, but there's a blog mention 2005 I'm sure the Tsunami Help wiki was much earlier than that. Reinstalled? --Chriswaterguy, 5 Dec 2009.
  44. 2009-12-15.
  45. 2010-03-
  46. 2010-04-01
  47. 2010-04-01
  48. About Streetswiki: "StreetsWiki was created in 2007 by Streetsblog and members of The Open Planning Project to support their initiative for promoting livable cities."
  49. 2010-11-29.
  50. 2010-11-27
  51. REPLACE THIS TEXT WITH DATE WHEN EDIT COUNT WAS RECORDED.
  52. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
  53. ***Note questions discussed in the Appropedia community regarding maintaining group identity, in terms of a navbar/header that depends on the site the visitor came from; also discussions (on Twitter, between @appropedia and @MarkDilley?) about changing sidebar(?) based on the category being viewed. This requires software hacks?)