Following the Aaron Swartz post, some of the comments and discussions I’ve seen on the web suggest that people think there is no real difference between Wikipedia and traditional encyclopedias, in terms of how they are produced.
This is wrong. And dangerous.
Three critical differences need to be preserved, they are key distinguishers of what makes social software “social”.
Capacity to show dissent
In Brickipedia, the editors choose the contributors. In Wikipedia the contributors choose themselves. This is very powerful.
In Brickipedia, the editors frame and anchor the topics. In Wikipedia the contributors choose to write what they’re passionate about. Also very powerful.
In Brickipedia, there is no capacity to show dissent. In Wikipedia, dissent is visible. This is the most powerful differentiator.
Of course there is also a difference in the way Bricki and Wiki contributors get rewarded, but I feel that this is less important than the three I’ve mentioned above.
We must preserve this. Motivated people selecting themselves to write about things they feel passionate about, and able to show agreement and dissent as well.
Read Cass Sunstein on Democracy and Dissent if you’re interested, I am currently travelling and unable to point to the right references. I’m sure Google will oblige.