<CPOV> article on collaboration and wikipedia

nathaniel tkacz nathanieltkacz at gmail.com
Wed Oct 13 07:43:30 CEST 2010

hi all - i have recently published an article on the politics of mass
collaboration that uses a wikipedia entry as a case study. the article is
primarily about collaboration, and the section on wikipedia is quite
elementary, but it might be of interest anyhow. my basic argument is that we
need to develop a theory of collaboration that can also speak to the
conflicts and political realities of open projects.



*Working together to produce socio-technological objects, based on emergent
platforms of economic production, is of great importance in the task of
political transformation and the creation of new subjectivities.
Increasingly, “collaboration” has become a veritable buzzword used to
describe the human associations that create such new media objects. In the
language of “Web 2.0”, “participatory culture”, “user-generated content”,
“peer production” and the “produser”, first and foremost we are all
collaborators. In this paper I investigate recent literature that stresses
the collaborative nature of Web 2.0, and in particular, works that address
the nascent processes of peer production. I contend that this material
positions such projects as what Chantal Mouffe has described as the
“post-political”; a fictitious space far divorced from the clamour of the
everyday. I analyse one Wikipedia entry to demonstrate the distance between
this post-political discourse of collaboration and the realities it
describes, and finish by arguing for a more politicised notion of

Nate Tkacz

School of Culture and Communication
University of Melbourne

Twitter: http://twitter.com/__nate__

Current project: http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/cpov/about-2/
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