Wiki Patterns

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When ThreadMode is allowed to continue for too long, it becomes unwieldy. There is no coherent expression of the page's topic, instead readers have to dig through the whole thread and distill the valuable information out of it. The result is ThreadMess.

How do I notice it?

The page looks like a discussion thread, consisting of chronological submissions of responses. Valuable information is fragmented across the page within the responses and there isn't consensus from the community about facts and opinions. It is difficult for a casual reader to discern any clear, useful information from the page.

How do I fix it?

Reorganise the page into a single document, grouping related information together and replacing the signed, conversational remarks with unsigned objective prose.

One effective process for refactoring a ThreadMode page to a DocumentMode page is:

  1. Reorder related parts of the conversation into discrete topics
  2. Add section headings for each topic
  3. Rewrite each section to prose, removing all signatures and attribution
    • If a clear consensus has emerged, describe the consensus view
    • If there is no consensus, describe the alternative views objectively

There is a danger in refactoring ThreadMode that the bias of the editor can (consciously or unconsciously) sneak into the resulting page. Often, the best person to refactor a ThreadMode discussion is someone who has no interest in, or opinion on the matter being discussed.

  • WikiGnome - a WikiGnome can reorganise the page content into a readable structure.

Further Reading

threadmess.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/28 15:12 by splitbrain