A couple of days ago, I was talking about wikis and we all agreed that they are wonderful. And so they are. I use wiki a lot, find much on it in different languages and I find the quality generally excellent.
So I contribute regularly to wikis, don't I? Well, no. It seems I haven't yet found the wiki that arouses my curiosity enough to want to contribute to it. I've been thinking about organizing a wiki for our extranet, but I find it hard to think of things to write about.
I realized that everything I want to find already exists. Of course, I am a regular contributor to several knowledge databases. Some of the subjects I write about are boats and sailing , general politics etc. But I rarely add knowledge to wiki-style environments. So why don't I? Not because I have nothing to tell, surely. It's due to me not having an interest in contributing to a knowledge base available to the outside world.
I'm not saying I'm not interested in sharing. It's just that I haven't found that one topic in which I am specialized enough to write about. Often we need an external incentive to persuade us to invest time in something. So if someone can provide me with an external stimulus to share what I know, I'd be happy to comply to this and tell you what I know.
Now only to find those interested in my knowledge to convince me. And then I still have to find the time to do this on top of all my other activities. Isn't everybody constantly weighing time and interests?
This is why web 2.0 will only keep working when enough of us often enough decide in favor of spending time on this mutual project to keep it going. This mass of people can never be wrong - in the long run.