Wiki Wiki Fever -
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The state of being obsessed with WikiWiki systems.

Lets see, where should I start? Lets contrast it with WebFever...

Have you ever seen one of those webpages which starts off all enthusiatic, saying things like This site will be updated every day? At that point, the author has what I call WebFever. Typically, they will update the page for three days, then RealLife kicks in, and the next change contains the phrase Oops missed a week, I'll add more next Thursday. Then, later... Phew, two weeks since my last update - sorry folks, I've been too busy

If you've looked around at people's home pages, and, unfortunately, many business pages, you'll find that they often go through these stages, and are often not updated again. Finally the author reaches the "website? oh yeah, I remember setting up that". It's kind of poignant, don't you think?

If you're really lucky, the author will have battled their WebFever enough to include a date (with year) somewhere on the page.

So? Why am I rambling on about this? Well, just because we all know people suffer from WebFever doesn't mean we can avoid it ourselves. Sometimes you just have to accept that you will manifest the symptoms too.

I think (because I have Wiki Wiki Fever) that there are some things which can be done to counteract this problem.

Websites which allow other people to add the content remove the problem from your hands. As long as there is a small pool of feverish people around, they'll keep the site up to date.

This is (one interpretation of ) the principle behind systems which allow you to WriteTheWeb, such as WikiWiki and BloggerSystems.

My most popular website "TheDataMine", which I launced in 1994, works on a very similar principle to Blogger sites. It allows people to add content by filling in a web form. At the time of writing (early 2001), I haven't touched the site myself for about 2 years, but people are still adding stuff! It's a bit overcrowded for the metaphor it uses at the moment, but I'm planning to convert it to a Wiki as part of a series of experiments I'm doing in collaborative information systems.

-- AndyPryke - 11 Apr 2001

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