Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Allan Karl sent me suggestions and edits via a marked up word file. I've made some edits based on his comments and accepted his suggestions on grammer, etc. I've replaced the original file with the new file and put the old one here. I still have to integrate the Stigmergy paper, thoughts from Howard on the Public Sphere, more on the social issues, probably more detail on the discussion on democracy itself, thoughts from Steve Mann's paper, and a variety of other things. I hope to do this on my flight to SF this weekend and include these features in the next version release.

I think I've read a lot of the feedback including the criticism, but if I'm missing any more "features" for the next release, please let me know. Also, if anyone would rather comment on a word file, I'll be happy it to send you one. Would rather only have one out at a time so that I don't branch the word file.

Another question: Should I track the changes in a separate file/page? I wonder what the best way to do it is. Diff the files?

Thanks again to everyone contributing to this effort.


Using Word feature for keeping track of edit would make life easier for others. But it makes editing the file more difficult as corrections accumulate.

Anyway, this is the common nightmare for translators ;-) First pass on french version of version 1.1 is progressing niely and there is already a version 1.2 !

Hello Joi-san!
My first thought was "put it in CVS", but CVS is a terriblly geeky and unwieldy tool. So I thought "hmmm we need a web-based collaborative and revision controllable writing system"... Oh! Wiki! Of course!

Perhaps you should post a version on a Wiki system and allow folks to get right in there. Thebetter Wiki systems seem to have quite good versioning control.

Of course this means the paper won't be "yours" anymore, but I think you've already said it is very much a collaborative project. Besides, weren't all the great documents written collectively? The Constitution (of most contries). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Bible. Etc Etc.

Can it be that the 'Net, through blogging and collaborative writing, is the Mater Narrative to end all master narratives? A massive chronicling (and shaping) of history and experience as we live it?

If you look into setting up a Wikki, I recently setup mine and opted for Tavi. It's quite easy to get up and running, if you have access to PHP and Mysql/Postgresql.

A wikki will give you the version controls, and will have the bonus of opening up collaboration possibilities for writing the document.

Version control. The mother of all collaborative writing and designing nightmares. Nontheless, Word has a feature called versions. And it essentially creates a new version each time it's saved. This means you can "go back in time" to previous versions. Problem is, the file gets large quickly. Word isn't to efficient in this manner. But it is a simple way to track history. Alternatively, Word offers "compare documents" and will highlight changes between two versions. So it's a project management nightmare, but if there always was a master "current" version, and only one editor working on a WIP (work in progress) version, it would be easy to identify input, changes etc.

Food for thought.

A Wiki would be nice. We would have to make it clear that the copyright was "open" which is fine with me. We would have to try to make sure that we identified the contributors and credited people appropriately. Maybe a foot note system. Is there a Wiki system that supports easy formating like the foot notes?

I took a look at the Word version control and the compare documents. I guess my problem is that they're useful when you are nit picking legal documents, but with this document I think people would be interested in a general summary of changes so they can decide whether to read the whole thing again and/or just focus on the section change that is most interesting to them...

I guess the "right" way to do it would be to go through by hand and track the major changes per release as people do when they release new versions and track the bug fixes and the changes. If I have time, maybe I'll do that.

Well, I have been using a PHP-based Wiki system and it has the following feature:
- required registration and sign-in for modifying documents (changes are tracked by user/date)
- "page history" shows you each iteration of the document as it was changed by whom and when.
- RSS feed of aforementioned "page history".

I'd be happy to give you access to mine to "try it out" and I could have one set up for you quite quickly as well...

oh it also has a "Diff" link which shows you, via different colored highlights, what was changed... clever!

wiki scares me. not the collaboration aspect, just that i don't know any user friendly tools to operate with. not just in this case, but in any. any recommendations for an osx user?

oh, and YIPEE! joi's comin to SF!

I think you should link back to the earlier version in the new version because people will follow pre-Feb. 25 links and might be confused about which version was commented upon.

I think you should link back to the earlier version in the new version because people will follow pre-Feb. 25 links and might be confused about which version was commented upon.


Feel free to use the Emergent Democracy wiki on the Socialtext public workspace, here:

If you need help using the wiki, feel free to contact me at alevin AT alevin DOT com.

- Adina Levin

Thanks Adina.
To register for an account on their Wiki (A ID/password Wiki) Go here:

Creation of cooperative outlines is a problem. Elsewhere I've suggested (a trivial suggestion) consisting of some kind of "metadata" for each node of the outline: author, date, unique name, etc. An super outline editor would then allow merging, translating only the recently changed nodes, etc. This editor would have to be free software, multi-platform (Windows and Linux etc), and preferrably compiled rather than interpreted (this would allow easier disemination and also tatooing it onto some kind of personal cothinking calculator-size device). Maybe a good starting point was "Think", by Peter Teichman of Gnome.

I'll read the 1.2 version document now, and try not to get lost in my own technology diversions. :-)

Actually Lucas, we're on version 1.3.

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