How Can We Work the Wikipedia Way?

After all the hype surrounding the remarkable volunteer culture at Wikpedia, we are entitled to ask how do they actually draw from people such high levels of participation and contribution. Larry Sanger, the co-founder with Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, advises us how to start new projects on similar lines: "It was our willingness to follow our imagination..."

It was our willingness to follow our imagination, and create what is, to some extent, a new kind of culture, that led to Wikipedia's success. The process of identifying mistakes honestly, and creatively seeking solutions must be ramped up and continued unabated.

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As any disagreements are apt to be publicly visible in a collaborative project, and undermine the (very important) moral authority of at least one manager, make sure management is on the same page from the beginning, preferably before launch.

This requires a great deal of thinking through issues together.