How a Wiki Works
Who is in charge?
Well, in a manner of speaking you are! There is a form of hierarchy in Planidpedia and it is driven totally by how involved you are.
- Anyone can access the site and either read information or edit and change information. When they do all we may know is the "IP Address" of their computer. These changes are flagged as "suspicious" since it is assumed if you do not tell who you are your contribution may not be legitimate.
- You can register and create a login and password so we know who you are. When you do you can then set personal preferences that the site remembers. As will you have your own user page, ability to chat and most importantly you get "more power". As an example at this level you will see an "Upload files" on the toolbox so you can upload images to use as well as edit text.
- Once you have been seen to contribute effectively (this is tracked by the system), you may be invited to become a "Patroller". Patrollers get access to special screens that let them review new contribtuions quickly and easily to keep garbage out of the system.
- If you continue to contribute to the community, you may be asked if you would like to become an Administrator. An administrator gains even more powers and can delete pages outright from the system. They can also "protect pages" which restricts lower levels from editing pages. This may be done in extremely controversial pages subject to abuse. Higher levels like administrators can also block IP Addresses or users that continually are seen to put garbage into the system.
- Bureaucrats is a level where you can now change the rights of other users. So if you see positive contributors you can ask if they would like to become more active.
Who runs the computers and the software?
PlanPlus is the original technology supporter of Planipedia and has volunteered to run the system on their servers that are located in a secure IBM datacentre. As well, the technical administration of the site is managed by PlanPlus which means that is you see a cool "plug-in" for Planipedia, our programers would look at putting this into place.
How do I know the information is not just an opinion?
You don't. Often information that is first added into a Wiki my be someones opinion, but then as it is reviewed by other members of the community it may be challenged or supported, additional references may be referenced and in many cases a consensus reached. In the case of Wikipedia itself, from the book Wikienomics, it currently has about 10 times the content that Encyclopedia Britannica had in its hayday with about the same relative error level. Never perfect but able to correct itself very quickly.
Some critics say that a Wiki will create a "tyranny of the masses" where the mad opinion will prevail, even if it is the wrong answer. When multiple views exist a Wiki should outline both and let the reader decide.
So over time, the content should evolve from opinion to consensus and hopefully to fact.