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Beyond the Sandbox: Wikis and Blogs That Get Work Done (SIG STI)

Moderators: K.T.L. Vaughan: User Services Librarian, UNC-CH Health Sciences Library ( Jon Jablonski: Science Librarian, University of Oregon ( Speakers: Cameron Marlow: PhD Student, Electronic Publishing Group of the MIT Media Laboratory ( Sunir Shah: Editor, MeatballWiki; MS Student, University of Toronto Information School and the Knowledge Media Design Institute ( Ross Mayfield: CEO, Socialtext (

Presented at ASIST 2004 Annual Meeting; "Managing and Enhancing Information: Cultures and Conflicts" (ASIST AM 04), Providence, Rhode Island, November 13 - 18, 2004


Emerging at first as popular culture phenomena, Wikis and Blogs have become information tools that many professionals use every day for scholarly and corporate collaborative work. Leaders in the field will discuss wikis and blogs as community building technologies, and will address issues of creation, maintenance, and evalution of the tools.

Cameron Marlow originated and manages Blogdex, a service that tracks the diffusion of links and ideas through the population of webloggers. He designed Blogdex to analyze the "information epidemics" that occur when informal social networks form around bloggers who link to, and write about, the news, society, and the internet.

Sunir Shah edits the MeatballWiki, a “metawiki” focused on building online communities. Self-defined as a "community of communities: an intercommunity or metacommunity", it seems to be a community only because it is a group of people that has come together online to talk about what it means to be a community. What differentiates the MeatballWiki from many online meta-communities is that participants spend most of their time talking about sociology rather than technology; and when they do talk about technology, they do so in a social context.

Ross Mayfield is the CEO of Socialtext, a company that markets “enterprise social software” to help businesses manage and enhance their information products through collaborative models. Products include the Socialtext Kwikspace, a prepackaged wiki designed for the technically savvy, and Socialtext Workspace, a hybrid wiki/blog that allows online collaboration and simple publishing of results.

Sponsored by SIG/STI.

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