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The Contradiction of a Discussion Forum

| On 01, Jan 2010

Message: 546
Posted by: Nitpicker
Posted on: Wednesday, 9th May 2007


I like forums. They encourage participation and sharing. Often they provide great questions and answers which improve the utility of other communications.

However, forums just get longer. People don't go back and revise and refine what they said in the first place. Thus the best content tends to become hidden in the ever growing collection of postings.

Solutions

Use a wiki, like Wikipedia, along with policies which foster continual improvement of both the content and the policies.

Use an argumentation scheme like Compendium (free from CompendiumInstitute.org) or TruthMapping (free online at TruthMapping.com) or a commercial one such as from AusThink.

Incidentally, the increased interest in virtualization has resulted in a new kind of packaging of applications as plugin virtual machine images. Each “appliance” contains a fully installed and mostly configured application whose use is quite safe since the hypervisor completely constrains the effects that the appliance can have on your server. See Wikipedia under “virtual appliance” and check at wiki.rpath.com for freeware appliances.

I mention this since it rather simplifies the process required to install a serious package like MediaWiki, the open source, PHP based wiki used by Wikipedia itself.

Dick Karpinski, World Class Nitpicker