|Stakeholder Group:||Civil Society|
|Issue Areas:||Capacity Development|
|Headquarters:||Portland, OR, USA|
|Jessica Alice Rivers|
|Raymond King, Founder, Chair|
ICANNWiki is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the Internet community's collaborative development of wiki articles on ICANN and Internet Governance-related topics. The wiki provides neutral, third-party information for ICANN meeting attendees and Internet citizens at large. It is an open platform governed by wiki values, such as Neutral Point of View, transparency, assuming good faith, and building together.
ICANNWiki is not ICANN. ICANNWiki is a separate non-profit organization independent from ICANN. This website is operated by the ICANNWiki organization and any donations made to the ICANNWiki website are for the ICANNWiki organization only.
The Internet Governance space is known for being highly technical and obscure, making it difficult to develop a general understanding of the issues involved. These issues are pertinent to the daily lives of all Internet users, as well as those on the other edge of the digital divide, still waiting for Internet access. ICANNWiki works with the community to break these complex concepts down into understandable, fully-referenced, fact-based, and neutral articles. 
Giving everyone a voice in the future of the Internet.
The ICANNWiki team's time is spread across 4 main areas:
- ICANN Meetings - There are 3 ICANN meetings held per year, often in very disparate locations as per ICANN's mandate to be a global organization. Generally, two ICANNWiki team members travel to the meetings in order to interact with the participants. We teach people about the site and its usage, create and edit articles, take photographs for caricatures, and sometimes conduct video interviews. While travel costs and booth materials are one of the project's largest expenditures, we feel the opportunity to work directly with the community, in a face-to-face mode, is important.
- Content Creation & Editing - We strive to incorporate information from ICANN and other news sources into existing articles in a timely fashion. If we see that an informational need is unmet, we build new articles from scratch and elicit the community to contribute as well. ICANNWiki insists upon on neutral and documented information and edits pages as they are created or updated by community members. This has always been a significant undertaking for staff, and with the launch of the New gTLD Program, we've seen the site traffic, pages and its activity increase exponentially.
- Community Building - Community Building begins with the newcomers. Once we have helped them into the world of Internet Governance, they often return the favor by contributing edits to ICANNWiki content. ICANN veterans and career DNS folks are often the most educated about ICANN topics. We encourage these seasoned participants to help edit articles, assisting those who do not yet have an advanced perspective or understanding. The ICANN community is vast and diverse, so even long-time participants find themselves in need of information about the work being done by other groups at ICANN.
- Sponsorship Outreach - ICANNWiki depends on the generous support of sponsors. Without them, we would not be able to do what we do.
Throughout all this work, ICANNWiki is known for putting a fun and unique twist on the content, such as the Caricatures and Playing Cards it produces. We value our creative reputation and are constantly looking for fun and new ideas, and interacting with our community on Twitter, Facebook, at ICANN meetings, and remotely.
ICANNWiki strives to be a valuable and neutral Internet resource containing information on all aspects of the ICANN community. The ICANN community is not limited to ICANN itself, but includes all those associated with, or affected by ICANN's decisions.
ICANNWiki is a global commons that brings all groups of the ICANN community together to communicate and share knowledge in an open, and transparent manner.
ICANNWiki is a unique and valuable information resource specifically addressing the larger world of ICANN. ICANNWiki warmly welcomes any and all community members to join in the effort of global online collaboration and resource creation for the benefit of all!
ICANNWiki was originally founded by Raymond King in 2005, with help from Brandon CS Sanders and John Stanton, with the belief that a public wiki could be a real benefit to the greater ICANN community. The project debuted at the ICANN 24 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The site was relaunched in 2010, and a considerable effort has gone into improving articles and standards. ICANNWiki has always been supported by the community, whether from the thousands of people who have contributed to articles on the site, or through company sponsorships. Our wiki is a medium for peer production, where the act of using the site together will create a valuable common asset. This lasting work, made up of the industry's collective intelligence, can then be used to further our common mission of making the Internet a better place to live and work.
Assume Good Faith
Assuming good faith means that we act on the assumption that everyone who makes an edit is doing so to provide relevant, accurate information. No matter the change, we give people the benefit of the doubt and trust they have come to build, not break ICANNWiki.
Realize that everyone makes mistakes. The nature of Wiki renders it nearly impossible to break and makes corrections easy. By assuming good faith and working together we keep in mind that errors are often unintentional.
By acting openly and honestly in accordance with Real People, we demonstrate our good faith in the community. Working to Be A Builder is another manifestation of good faith because we trust the community to move forward with our work and to respect our contribution.
Be a Builder
This value is much more than building wiki pages that are aesthetically-pleasing or highly informative and useful (although all these are valuable qualities), but building the ways in which people work together to create, and the ways ideas interlace and adhere. The building is as much about the process of creating something valuable as it is about the finished product (especially considering we have no defined endpoint).
Being a builder involves building quality content; it is important to keep the other values in mind during the process of building, since creation typically involves creative destruction.
In order to Be A Builder, it is important not to sweat the small stuff. Remember that Change Is Cheap. You can perfect the page later, but the first step is to get it started. The idea can be likened to building with Legos, you start somewhere and let the creation take shape, adding and subtracting, constantly Refactoring what you are building. This will also allow a jumping off place for the rest of the community. Focus on the big picture, knowing that others can, and will, fine-tune your work and ideas.
To achieve this, click "edit" and "save" often. Doing so creates a visual history of your thoughts and changes that others can use to understand and build on top of your work. Clicking "edit" and "save" a lot also allows you to quickly jump into a document and get your hands dirty. This is similar to the "Release Early Release Often" philosophy common in the Open Source community:
People seed a page with an idea that's often vague and poorly worded. It is rough and that's okay, that's expected. It's a beginning. Other people come along and Refactor' it. There should be freedom from fear that others are going to judge your effort as unworthy, in fact, the expectation is that others will judge your efforts as highly valuable.
Change is Cheap
This value represents our belief in constructive edits and the process of Wiki. Building off the tenets of Be A Builder and Assume Good Faith, we arrive at the conclusion that Wiki allows us to embrace change to an unprecedented extent.
With Wiki, each page is equipped with a complete history of every edit. This allows us to freely plumb the past and move forward knowing that no good idea or innovation is lost. We can feel free to make changes secure in the knowledge that our work will be recognized for its own merit and that it will become the foundation for further effort and construction.
"One's words are a gift to the community. For the wiki nature to take whole, you have to let go of your words. You have to be okay with that. This goes into the name, called Refactoring. To collaborate on a work, one must trust. The reason the cooperation happens is we are people and it is deep in our nature to do things together." -- Ward Cunningham, quoted in Corante; On The Crucible of Creativity", 17-October-2005
Contributing to a Wiki is an exercise in trust. You must trust the community to engage positively and productively with you in your work, and in our staff to protect your work. Trust grows with time and experience. Test us out by making a constructive edit or building out your own page, then watch the result: recognition, and the knowledge that you have helped build the commons.
We believe that people and organizations take you seriously sooner when you act with responsibility as a real person. Using your real name, backed up by things like your picture and interests, makes real-world interactions in culture, politics and business possible, realistic, effective and useful. Isn't a person more likely to join a community online, if they see that there are real people involved, instead of characters like RedDog88, Snivelcritter, etc.?
Professionalism, trust, and community all emerge when real people are involved, standing behind their work. Using your real name substantiates your commitment to transparency and allows others to better collaborate with you. It also creates a greater investment in your work.
Using a real name, however, is not a requirement for participation -- look around, get your bearings, and once you've come to know the vibrant, trusting community at ICANNWiki, make the switch.
Refactoring is a term common to computer programming for reorganizing and improving the internal structure of a program while retaining its exterior functionality and behavior. In the world of wiki, it refers to reorganizing and improving a wiki page while staying true to its function and the intent of its community of editors.
Wiki vs. Web: Refactoring vs. Commenting
Generally, when you're reading something on the web that isn't quite right, you lack the ability to fix it. On Wiki, you have the ability to reorganize and improve the page in front of you. You can Be A Builder and make Efficiently Expressed Suggestions. You have the power, but remember, in the words of Peter Parker, with great power comes great responsibility.
Transparency involves our commitment to openness and accountability. Transparency builds trust. If you are using a false name, not your own, people may wonder why. It may not be desirable to reveal everything about yourself but a name is something to build upon. Communities can only really begin to develop if the members of that community know each other.
Using references is an important part of keeping our content transparent. If you make statements on a wiki, especially bold ones, you should be able to back them up with verifiable references.
The brackets on each side of the logo represent the wiki markup for an internal link and the the sprout on the globe symbolizes the growth of Internet knowledge worldwide.
Projects we're working on
- This article is entirely user-submitted by the ICANNWiki team & supporters: Ray, Jonah, Vivian, and Andrew.