So at least 5 weeks ago, First Monday publishes this article by the co-author of The Social Life of Information, Paul Duguid, that asks questions about the oft-asserted transferability of “laws of quality” from open source software projects to the peer production of ‘knowledge’ in sites like Wikipedia, and literally almost no one replies (well at least one well read blogger did)?
Maybe everyone just read this already and went on with their business. But this smells like the fart in the crowded room of social software acolytes that nobody wants to acknowledge (jeez, somebody crack the window already!) Duguid can easily be faulted, as he does himself, for the anecdotal examples, but his article doesn’t read like one from the establishment “enemy” camp trying to argue for the quality of existing authorities, but instead a call for a thoughtful examination of some assumptions that enthusiasts of the peer production of knowledge (and I count myself as one) continue to make but which, if questioned, might actually improve these processes. Not that the examples he cites, like Wikipedia, aren’t always trying to grapple with these issues. Still, the silence is deafening. – SWL