Apps for Democracy vs. Wiki Editorial – Keys to Open Collaboration Success

In contrasting the collaborative project Apps for Democracy and the LA Times’ 2005 Wiki editorial experiment, Clay Shirky, highlights keys to success for open collaboration.
1. You’re engaging in open collaboration because of the possibilities. Don’t over manage the process and create too many rules.
2. Give participants space to participate and be as creative as possible. (Users never do what program designers want or expect. That is what makes a project successful.)
3. The more you take credit in advance for future success, the less likely that future success will be.

I may be missing one or two more comments. Is anyone else on Govloop at this conference today? If so, did you happen to catch the other elements of success Clay mentioned?

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Joe Flood

I’m not at the conference but just finished Shirky’s book, Here Comes Everybody. He talks about the LA Times wikitorial experiment which failed because the offer – help us improve the newspaper – wasn’t of interest to readers. Why should they improve a commercial product? What’s in it for them? Better to give them the tools and let them come up with something, like it sounds like he said in his talk. Wish I could be there!

Katherine Roland

Thanks for your comment, Joe. I just bought that book and am looking forward to reading it. Yesterday’s talk was fascinating!