What happens when Wikipedia isn't big enough? This is a key question for those developing closed community spaces. Wikipedia came onto the scene promising to offer a repository for all knowledge, but it turned into the world’s best encyclopaedia—absolutely nothing more, nothing less. A remarkable achievement it is, but one that never managed to store local knowledge with the same reverence as general, global knowledge. This panel will explore how developers are trying to address these limitations by building a different kind of collaborative environment. From local wikis that only allow those who live in the community to contribute to government-sponsored social networks meant to enhance a specific organization, the panel examines the viability of closed and semi-open networks. The panel will specifically look at how you get local communities involved in mass collaboration: 1) What topics generate traffic for local communities? 2) Which current collaborative tools work best for community engagement? 3) What kind of collaborative tools are needed for the future? 4) How do local collaborative environments reach out to community members who lack digital literacy? To answer these questions on local collaboration the panel will involve experts involved with DavisWiki.org and the Department of State, as well as those involved in digital inclusion efforts in underprivileged communities.
11th–15th March 2011