We think that there is this terrible idea that the kids are digital natives... and they know what they're doing, but all the evidence says that they're hanging around going, 'Where are you, I'm here, can I post my picture?' They're not actually writing wikis; they're not actually listening to great poets live.
Helpfiles are traditionally outnumbered by no-help files, which superficially resemble a helpfile in form but not in content because they don't actually tell you anything you don't already know, or they answer every question except the one you're asking, or you open them and a giant animated paper clip leaps out and cheerfully asks where you want to go today. And wikis are worse.
Some of the power has shifted from companies to people. Using social media tools (blogs, wikis, tagging, etc.) more individuals are creating semi-spontaneous 'groundswells' of opinions to which companies and other institutions are realizing they must respond. From marketing to consumers organizations are being pulled into engaging with individuals.
Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. Wikis give us a place where anyone who is kind, thoughtful and intelligent can come and join us in building a better and more rational world. Jimmy Wales Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
Gaia giveth even as she taketh away. The warming of the global climate over the past century had melted permafrost and glaciers, shifted rainfall patterns, altered animal migratory routes, disrupted agriculture, drowned cities, and similarly necessitated a thousand thousand adjustments, recalibrations and hasty retreats. But humanity's unintentional experiment with the biosphere had also brought some benefits. Now we could grow oysters in New England. Six hundred years ago, oysters flourished as far north as the Hudson. Native Americans had accumulated vast middens of shells on the shores of what would become Manhattan. Then, prior to the industrial age, there was a small climate shift, and oysters vanished from those waters. Now, however, the tasty bivalves were back, their range extending almost to Maine. The commercial beds of the Cape Cod Archipelago produced shellfish as good as any from the heyday of Chesapeake Bay. Several large wikis maintained, regulated and harvested these beds, constituting a large share of the local economy. But as anyone might have predicted, wherever a natural resource existed, sprawling and hard of defense, poachers would be found.
Paul Di Filippo