Bo Leuf commented recently on the deafening silence of most visitors to an open Wiki space such as his Daynotes, or this ZhurnalWiki . He noted, "There should be more active involvement by readers, but that aspect is remarkably elusive, or perhaps that should be written illusive?"

I agree. Perhaps most folks find the idea of adding to a web site in real time too scary, too unconventional? It's like seeing a big wall, mostly blank, with a rack of brushes and a row of open paint buckets sitting in front of it, along with an engraved invitation to spalaver on your comments. How many passers-by would dare add to any artwork-in-progress? I suspect far fewer than 1%.

Why? There's the shyness factor, the fear of sounding dumb or pretentious. There's a prim and proper respect for other people's property, tied in with a natural wish to avoid inadvertently smudging somebody else's creation. There's the association that wall-writing has with juvenile vandalism. There's the cautious desire not to expose oneself to withering counter-thrust or snide criticism by provoking a disagreement.

With all those barriers in the way, it's amazing that anyone works up the chutzpah to add their words to a Wiki. Nevertheless, please do feel free to write what you wish throughout this ^zhurnal. Whether or not I agree, I promise not to bite --- and I will strive to protect your thoughts from pot-shots by later pilgrims ...

(see also WikiQuickStart (13 Nov 2001), ThisSpaceFor (17 Feb 2003), ...)

TopicZhurnal - Datetag20030403

With me, it's mainly a lack of time. It takes a lot longer to think up and write a reasonable or meaningful comment that it does to read what's already there. It's only when I really feel I have something worth adding that I take the time to actually do so. Maybe it's old-fashioned, but I don't usually want to just throw out a random or quick comment that I might later realize isn't up to my own standards.

(correlates: DeerHuntingWithJesus, HaikuChess, ManaBurn, ...)