I have argued that the ability to reorganize material is a necessary
ingredient for a discussion tool. Your post clearly states what that
facility is necessary.
In addition, in a conversation at the Knowledge Technologies
conference, a clear description of why automated IBIS systems
can't work was given by Jeff Conklin (the author of such a
In a nutshell:
Automated collaboration systems fail for lack of a
a) Understands when a new issue has in fact been
raised, as an implicit part of someone's objection
b) Recasts the comments, identifies the real question,
and gets it posted.
c) Removes the personal parts of the statements,
reframing things in a way that keeps everyone
focused on the issues.
(BTW: He found that *not* attaching names to
ideas was important, for that reason.)
So the ability to reorganize and reframe the discussion
is important for the sake of moderating it, as well as
for isolating the important bits later on.
He also mentioned that *avoiding* attribution was important
to keeping everyone focused on the possibilities, and
offering alternatives, so they wouldn't be afraid of
"being the author of that dumb suggestion".
So it would appear that the author-attribution should
include everyone at the root of the discussion tree, and
no one on any of the nodes underneath.
[Garold L. Johnson] Neil Larson built a communal hypertext system that ran
on a LAN, and the experience that he and his users had was that it required
a trained knowledge worker to reorganize the input into properly structured
hypertext Ė that it didnít happen automatically. Without this, the result
became hopelessly tangled.
The discussion on the Extreme Programming wiki also demonstrates that they
found continuing refactoring necessary to keep the site useful.
I am ambivalent about attribution. I agree that in any problem solving area
there cannot be anyone whose opinion *must* bet accepted because of who they
are or what their position is. In certain decision making processes,
however, I think we are stuck with attributions for approval / disapproval
when there is a formal decision to be made. Certainly attribution at the top
for discussion makes good sense.
Garold (Gary) L. Johnson
DYNAMIC Alternatives <http://www.dynalt.com/>
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 07:46:08 PDT