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Open edit

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Open edit in a wiki is the most radical form of openness.

In Appropedia, pages are generally open edit, so even an anonymous user of the site can click "edit" on a page and change it.

On the positive side:

  • This allows more contributions, without the hurdle of registration
  • Most anonymous edits are constructive and improve the site
  • There is very little spam, as bots are blocked by CAPTCHA and other tools.

On the negative side:

  • There is a perception by some that open edit means unreliable. In practice this is not true, although it's always good to improve the content checking and development processes.

On Appropedia, pages are only occasionally kept "closed" (e.g. protected in very rare cases of vandalism, or with a notice requesting editors to not edit yet as they are being developed by a class, or because they belong to the limited number of open access pages on the site.)

Quality in an open edit wiki[edit]

The surprising experience of wiki communities is that anonymous editing can actually increase the quality of the resource - this of course assumes that there is an active community building on good contributions and reverting spam and edits which are considered "bad".

Maintaining quality is a matter of both technological tools and social function.