Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Social Systems for the Cyberspace; wiki the first open society in the virtual world

Image attribution : Wikipedia
As we discussed in the earlier blog on the need of the social systems for the Cyberspace, the virtual world is no more that virtual and the need for stable social systems in the Cyberspace is tremendously high.

Perhaps the first open public space in the Cyberspace that facilitated the development of a well structured society is the world of wiki. Later Wikipedia revolutionised this phenomenal growth with 111666 active members in the English Wikipedia (though it has 27334636 registered members only 111666 have edited the pages in the last 30 days) and 5,065,228 articles. It averages 800 new articles per day. The virtual community of wikipedians is nurtured by wikipedia's policies and guidelines.

The policies of wikipedia are developed and maintained chiefly under six categories, viz Content, Conduct, Deletion, Enforcement, Legal, and Procedural. The appropriateness, correctness, authenticity, legal compliances, regular development etc of the wikipedia community as well as its contributions to Wikipedia are being effectively and efficiently managed by these policies. When we examine each of these policies, we find that the policies are developed and maintained in a democratic way through discussions and volunteer actions, that forms the basic principle of existence for any society, whether virtual or not.

My point here is that, any initiative towards developing social systems for the Cyberspace should start from studying the community model and policies of wikipedia. The topmost USP of Wikipedia is that its community is nurtured and developed chiefly through self-discipline and the spirit of voluntarism rather than legal enforcements.


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