This entry is to discuss the long term editing of the wiki. That is: edits and policies directed towards issues that affect the wiki over the course of several years or more rather than hours, weeks or months.

Accumulation of Reviews

We're going to have to implement something to account for the passage of time. Businesses, and their employees, have a high turnover in Davis, and comments can quickly become outdated. See Wiki Community/Archiving Comments.

When ArlenAbraham was giving a presentation to a group of UCD faculty a few months ago, a professor asked him what he imagined the wiki would look like in ten years. This was a pretty interesting question, and the first thing that came to mind was "gawd, if we don't come up with some system to clean up 'reviews' the wiki is going to be an unreadable mess." We could possibly make a [[Reviews()]] macro that would allow people to give a star rating and then do an amazon/newegg style "was this review helpful" whereby more recent and more helpful reviews are moded up and there's an included degree of randomness. we could even assign "cred'" points to trusted reviewers. the problem with algorithmically generated cred' is that it can always be faked, so there will always need to be a human mod.

One answer is to simply remove the useless material rather than having a complicated technical answer.

The problem with simply removing the material is the ease of adding such material versus the difficultly in carefully removing it (as opposed to shotgun approach of just wiping it out) makes it do that the 5% of active gnomes doing so can't keep up with the 95% of people posting the comments. I've been grumbling about this issue for years (of which this entry could be considered a new grumble). I'm happy to let it go yet again, but the same issues are becoming more and more obvious as year by year accumulates the difficult to deal with content. Even the wholly "legit" reviews pile up into a useless jumble. Plus the fact that asking people to review a company on the wiki is hardly a clear-cut case of bad ethics. Personally, I like that activity, even if it is prefaced with a "If you liked our service, please...".

Prediction: There will be some revision to the reviews and the manner in which they exist.

Removing excess reviews will be an increasing problem. Eventually every entry will grow to Bistro 33, which, honestly, is semi-useless in terms of helping people learn about the damn place. We've failed to trim even that one down... when we have hundreds like it, the wiki a a whole will take a serious hit to how useful it is to the Davis community (as opposed to the Wiki community who can navigate that stuff much easier).

Would there be a way for pages that are classified as restaurant pages / use the restaurant template to have the pro / con comment boxes as seen in the sandbox, but make them post the comments to a page thats RestaurantX/Pro and RestaurantX/Con ? —StevenDaubert

Accumulation of Quotes

One of the things about this entry that is different than some other entries (like Wiki Community/General Discussion) is that it is a living essay (at least as this sentence is being written). Discussions quickly become bogged down with people agreeing or disagreeing. A different, possibly more vital form of hashing out issues is to create an essay with various points. Rather than editing in the "I agree" or "I disagree", another style of editing would be to edit in support or disagreement directly into the entry instead of threaded conversations. Not only the end result, but also any given revision would address the question posed in a very readable, easy to access manner.

The drawbacks include a higher learning curve in editing such entries (mitigated by the ability of novice editors to add comments that are integrated as factual entries are done). Another drawback would be the difficulty in noting who made which point (although via the history, knowing what points where made by a specific editor is easy). It is also difficult to feel comfortable editing the words of somebody else. This entry is based in large part upon a post by ArlenAbraham and a list by JasonAller. They were broken out into points, but the editor felt reluctant to actually change the text for fear of removing a subtle point made by somebody else.


The whole sock puppet thing is getting a little out of hand, especially on certain salon pages. I believe that the salon thing is a two pronged attack, salon owners are creating sock puppets, and they are telling customers to add favorable reviews to the pages.

Davis Community Relations

Prediction: Several local political races involved with the wiki. At first the involvement will be juvenile, but will quickly mature beyond poor behavior. Campaigns will have a hard time keeping those on their side in check, but will engage in some self policing as to not be seen as breaking wiki social norms. Candidates coming up for reelection will be faced with an electorate with easy access to the campaign literature of their past campaigns. Candidates will still lie. Prediction: The wiki will have adopted one of the non-commercial identification standards that will have evolved and will use this to establish identity — but the identity of AlphaDog will continue to remain a secret and they will continue to contribute excellent content.

  • Accountability is the only thing that's important. Anonymity can co-exist with accountability. The only issue is when there are anonymous accounts in the hands of multiple people who can then claim a lack of accountability... that worries me because it breaks a very fundamental point of community.
  1. The schools in town will begin to experiment with involvement, but only sporadically. ... I'm working on getting DHS teachers on the wiki—StevenDaubert

  2. At least one high level administrator at UC Davis will lose their job as a result of information posted on the wiki.

  3. The next Chancellor will have an account, but will be careful to not be drawn into protracted editing.

  • I'd say that the best way to phrase those two points is "the wiki will affect the administration, the administration will toy with the wiki but not step in due to fear of the unknown results".

  • An evolution of the local media to work more closely with the wiki, or commercial wikis for The Aggie and the Davis Enterprise that do not use the Creative Commons-By license.

    • Or a UCDavis wiki. It'll be about control issues. The Enterprise may avoid this... several people who have the ear or are on staff "get" the wiki's ideals.

    Perhaps a couple things can be gleaned from above: Partnerships and relations should be extended to the Enterprise, Aggie, and possibly even the University in the course of the next few years. Possibly just a series of snail mail letters that are mailed now and then, a la marketing materials highlighting what the wiki can do for them and what they can do for the wiki. Of course they should be incubated in the wiki... the wikiwackywoo was a fairly good model for community work with a project leader to center around. The model can work as a way to have other "wiki projects".

    Multimedia and web advances

    Issue: How will technological advances affect the wiki content. Not advances in the software, but rather the changing role of web technology and how people interact with it.

    Prediction: Video entries as well as text covering everything from city council meetings to elementary school plays. Wiki social norms will wrestle with drunken videos in the same way as it has with drunken edits.

    The 5% can deal with the drunken edits, and I doubt the videos will arrive at a faster rate.

    Indexing the videos will be a challenge, as well as increased numbers of photos, of events and such. The format for Picnic Day and WEF events is working now. Will it work when there are more photos than can comfortably fit? A probable solution is to break out the namespace further: "Picnic Day 2012/Parade".

    Maintaining Core Focus

    Prediction: There will be students, tourists and others who will have come to Davis because they learned about it from the wiki.

    There is a mild danger of becoming navel gazers to the point that the Wiki documents the wiki community rather than the Davis community.

    Historical Revisions

    Prediction: The social norms will continue to evolve. Freshmen will still lack the foresight to consider that their edits will be read by future employers.

    1. At least one dissertation will be written completely about this wiki. It will not be structured as a typical paper, but will use some form of electronic non-linear media.

    • I agree, but the form will likely be a paper. You need to publish or at least have something to hand out at poster sessions.

  • We will have an easier time dealing with students who have stepped into the public eye and then want to "take it back". When they become public figures, they have the Aggie writing articles that go into the archive. We're blamed because the Wiki has a higher Google ranking and there's a feeling that they can argue the issue. When there is a clear track record of "public figures are documented here", it'll be easier. In the past most have been very short stubs about candidates and senators so it hasn't been easy to point to a wiki tradition of keeping information about public figures. Now we have full profiles going into the recent past, and there's a much more clear expectation of "we are keeping historical records". Obviously most freshmen will just make fools of themselves on their personal wiki entries, which are subject to their whim to delete anyway. It's only those that voluntarily step into the public light (plus a couple who will likely be shoved into it through awards or other unsought publicity) that will have an issue, and we're slowly starting to show we're more similar to the Aggie archives than a flier wall that will get pulled down at the end of the run.

  • Other Predictions, Goals and Pitfalls

    1. It will have survived the bad legislation written during the next presidency, but it will have suffered.

    2. Bob Dunning will never have an account.

    3. It will have been surpassed as the most successful community based wiki, but will still be among the more successful.