Print 

How Do We Organize Information Fire Hoses?

A Tour of the Rationale, Structure and Maintenance of the P2P Foundation Wiki

Context and Purpose

We explore how Michel Bauwens has used a set of tools in order to create his rather extraordinary wiki. He has done this by means of unusual and creative use of del.icio.us tagging and bookmarks - using media wiki as software, by means of update announcements on Twitter, a mailing list that ties his community together and a daily blog that offers substantive pointers and excerpts to what is community is discovering as well as a Ning social networking site for community wide announcements. In doing the first interview with Michel we developed a hypothesis with which he agreed:  namely that he is using tools available to anyone but using them in a rather unique way to develop a methodology for organizing information on the Internet a new form of digital library.

We pursued these ideas in follow-up interviews with Michel and have used them in this issue to present what could be seen as a "user manual for the wiki" or a guidebook to the way in which it has been established and structured.  We show the way in which the Wikimedia software allows the creation of subject categories that become a series of very useful databases for collecting and organizing specified related areas of interest.  Reading about Michel’s approach should give insights into how people can begin to organize online communities in cooperative collaborative information sharing and problem solving.

After reading this you will understand the component parts and sections, and the basic structure of the Peer-to-Peer Foundation wiki as well as how to login and begin to enter on material. But more important overall is the idea that it is worthwhile to explain so that broader range of other people can examine and test these ideas for themselves.   The question to be pondered is the extent to which it may make sense to apply Michel's methodology to one’s own fields of interest. But there is broader question as well.  Is this is an emerging way of organizing the fire hose of information that comes from the Internet? The ultimate issue of course is how can people who organize his material for a community and be compensated for doing so? It seems that with the increase of knowledge there is a broad need for this activity and certainly with the global downturn there is more and more of what Clay Shirky has called the ‘cognitive surplus” of people with excellent qualifications to undertake this kind of activity.

We conclude with a discussion with Michel where he explains how in the 80s and 90s he got in to this kind of information management first with the United States Information Agency and later in the early 90s with a Special Library for British Petroleum.  In the mid 90s he became involved in his own start ups and worked briefly for Belgacom eventually leaving there and going to Chang Mai Thailand.   After a two-year sabbatical he founded the Peer-to-Peer Foundation community.

A set of tools used to create a rather extraordinary wiki

He has done this by means of unusual and creative use of del.icio.us tagging and bookmarks - using media wiki as software, by means of update announcements on Twitter, a mailing list that ties his community together and a daily blog that offers substantive pointers and excerpts to what is community is discovering as well as a Ning social networking site for community wide announcements. In doing the first interview with Michel we developed a hypothesis with which he agreed:  namely that he is using tools available to anyone but using them in a rather unique way to develop a methodology for organizing information on the Internet a new form of digital library.

We explored these ideas in follow-up interviews with Michel and have used them in this issue to present what could be seen as a user manual for the wiki or a guidebook to the way in which it has been established and structured.  We show the way in which the Wikimedia software allows the creation of subject categories that become a series of very useful databases for collecting and organizing specified related areas of interest.  Reading about Michel’s approach should give insights into how people can begin to organize online communities in cooperative collaborative information sharing and problem solving.

After reading this you will understand the component parts and sections, and the basic structure of the peer-to-peer foundation wiki as well as how to login and begin to enter on material. But more important overall is the idea that it is worthwhile to explain so that broader range of other people can examine and test these ideas for themselves.   The question to be pondered is the extent to which it may make sense to apply Michel's methodology to one’s own fields of interest. But there is broader question as well.  Is this is an emerging way of organizing the fire hose of information that comes from the Internet? The ultimate issue of course is how can people who organize his material for a community and be compensated for doing so? It seems that with the increase of knowledge there is a broad need for this activity and certainly with the global downturn there is more and more of what Clay Shirky has called the ‘cognitive surplus” of people with excellent qualifications to undertake this kind of activity.

We conclude with a discussion with Michel where he explains how in the 80s and 90s he got in to this kind of information management first with the United States Information Agency and later in the early 90s with a Special Library for British Petroleum.  In the mid 90s he became involved in his own start ups and worked briefly for Belgacom eventually leaving there and going to Chang Mai Thailand.   After a two-year sabbatical he founded the Peer-to-Peer Foundation community.

Contents:



Editor’s Introduction                                                                 p. 3

How We Work to Build the P2P Foundation
Knowledge Commons                                                                p. 5   

The Concept of Category                                                           p. 6   

Tagging: More Sophisticated Use                                              p. 8

How to Use Del.icio.us                                                                 p. 9
Organization of Tagging System and Memory Castles            p. 11

The Use of Categories                                                                  p. 17

Creating an Article                                                                      p. 22

Creation of Categories                                                                 p. 30

Cybrarians and Cognitive Surplus                                            p. 37
Cybrarian versus Librarian and
Evolution of My Ideas                                                                 p. 40

Executive Summary                                                                   p. 45