Roland Dürre
Tuesday December 21st, 2010

Wikipedia #15 – The Workflow!

Wikipedia is many things. It is an encyclopaedia containing enormous knowledge from really all areas. Well, we all know that, don’t we? However, Wikipedia also realizes a social system in which many people cooperate on a world-wide scale. That is something most people will not so easily think of when hearing the word.

Most users are not aware of the fantastical workflow realized in Wikipedia.

Take, for example, the votes on the relevance criteria or the mentoring program. It is all realized on a de-centralized basis through simple modules. They simply work on lists controlled by watchdogs.
The mentoring program works as follows: the “Newbie” calls the chip “Looking for Mentor”. In doing so, he leaves a trace in the system which the mentors can find by calling the chip “next mentee”.

So the entire workflow in Wikipedia is organized by simple chips coordinated by equally simple mechanisms. What you get is an ingenious triangle of powers: “hyper link, version control and workflow done by simple chips”.

I like it much better than the “normal workflows” usually used for realizing processes in an enterprise. Those are designed like a model railway system, with inflexible switches that must be manually moved for each change. Workflow à la Wikipedia is like “Lego instead of a model railroad”.

To be sure, the Wikipedia workflow might look a little antiquated to some but it is a simple mechanism and works quite well. It follows my personal motto “KISS” in its variant “keep it simple and smart”.

😉  Perhaps it is worth taking a closer look – you might just end up learning something.

(Translated by EG)

1 Kommentar zu “Wikipedia #15 – The Workflow!”

  1. Chris Wood (Thursday December 23rd, 2010)

    How does one start to look closely at the mechanisms?

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