Why Meatball matters
Meatball Wiki is a little-known gem in the jungle of online community-related material on the Web. What is it about? A whole lot of fascinating stuff - in founder Sunir Shah's words:
It philosophizes about the nature of hypertext, government, and identity. It talks about user interfaces, community building, and conflict resolution. But it also contains technical analyses of indexing schemes, wiki architecture, and inter-wiki protocol design.
Sunir has recently been busy writing up a nice summary of what's significant about Meatball, as part of a work portfolio he's preparing to get into the Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto.
I believe Sunir understands Wiki philosophy better than anyone else I know. His contributions to framing the concept and patterns of soft security that underlie the social architecture of Wikis are what made me an early convert to Meatball. If only Sunir had kept a blog instead of a home-brewed diary page, he'd surely be well-known in social software circles today.
Hopefully, as the Wiki way slowly seeps into the mainstream Internet mentality, its perceived weirdness will subside and collaborative hypermedia communities like this one will get the recognition (and linkage) they deserve.