Paul Currion at humanitarian.info got my attention with this:
I think there’s a lot of potential in… FrontlineSMS – mainly because it’s a platform. Like any good platform, it’s up to the end user (in this case, grassroots NGOs) to work out how they want to use it, and how they want to incorporate it into their organisation and activities.
Not being a software expert, I looked up Wikipedia:
A platform might be simply defined as ‘a place to launch software’. It is an agreement that the platform provider gave to the software developer that logic code will interpret consistently…
This sounds a lot like the strengths of a wiki – it’s a blank slate in many ways. People use Appropedia and other wikis in many ways. They create structures to use on certain types of pages, and are free to adapt or ignore those structures, as they innovate. And in a growing wiki with a very broad scope, there is a lot of room for innovation.
A topic that has come up repeatedly in conversations is whether a wiki is a good way to share designs and ideas for development, sustainability, open manufacturing etc, or whether a more structured approach is needed. I’ll look at some of those approaches in coming posts (filed under platforms for collaboration).
I’ll leave it to others to decide whether a wiki is a platform in the software sense (and ask Is a Wiki a platform if you don’t program it?)