Amateur collaborative content generation

By: Paul A. Clayton (, August 10, 2019 7:55 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Wikis seem very good from a content presentation perspective, providing a single organized display of information. However, the presentation of a single authoritative version limits evaluation of alternatives, facilitates edit wars won too often either by having the most patience or having the favor of moderators, and seems to constrain gamification. (One could support valuing of edits both as part of distributed moderation and gamification, but one difficulty is providing such with a user interface that does not substantially reduce uncluttered access to information while facilitating easy feedback. Allowing articles selected subjects to be presented for evaluation (with a quick hide-edits feature) might work.) The single authoritative version aspect can also discourage contribution by hiding one's work in the edit history. The style constraint of a single version can be superseded by providing multiple collections with cross references.

Most collaborative content systems, including wikis, have the problem of discouraging contribution when the current state is "good enough", especially when such requires a significant reorganization of content.

Question and answer sites like those of the Stack Exchange network provide substantial gamification to encourage contribution (feel-good rewards) and moderation (particularly voting to order content). However, the constraints which discourage less useful content (e.g., "real, answerable question") can also fragment content rather than providing conceptually unified content. While short and to-the-point answers are very valuable, I think a well-structured digital reference could provide both quick reference solutions to specific issues as well as more extensive content and cross references.

Q&A sites also discourage later content contribution. Adding to an existing answer does not play well with the gamification system and conflicts with the individual ownership of answers, but adding a separate answer to provide a little added content seems to give that content less attention and

Forums (and even chat) support a more brainstorming style of content generation. While voting systems can provide a mechanism for user feedback (facilitating reader filtering based on ratings and encouraging good content and discouraging bad content), filtering and ordering content by ratings biases toward popular (cf. good) and early contribution (which encourages rapid response but discourages delayed responses — even if one is a thread necromancer like me — and more careful consideration and presentation).

I appreciate good free content, and I contribute a little; however, I also find myself discouraged from contributing (and not just because existing content quality is too high). While my motivations are somewhat peculiar, I suspect better tools could be developed to encourage good amateur collaborative content generation.

I am posting this here (despite it not being hardware-related) because the posters here seem to have the aptitude to address the issues, the interest in the problem, and familiarity with the problem. I am hoping I will learn from responses and perhaps the brainstorming will lead to improvements in future systems.
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Amateur collaborative content generationPaul A. Clayton2019/08/10 07:55 AM
  Amateur collaborative content generationBrendan2019/08/10 09:08 AM
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