The Global Anabaptist Wiki is an interactive community of Anabaptist-Mennonite groups from around the world. Initiated by the Mennonite Historical Library at Goshen College, the site is committed to helping individual groups: 1) tell their own story; 2) post and preserve electronic archives; and 3) become better informed about other groups in the global Anabaptist fellowship. Like all wiki-based projects, this is a collaborative venture that relies on the local expertise of many people.
This project is still in its early stages of construction. John Roth and others led a workshop at Mennonite World Conference Assembly Gathered (Paraguay 2009) about it…listening to perspectives and discerning whether or not it was a good idea. What do you think about the idea? Will you use it as a resource?
I think this is a good idea because everyone around the world can contribute to create collective knowledge. Some of the things written by people in their home churches about themselves may make North Americans (perhaps especially mission agencies) uncomfortable. This could be a good thing for dialogue. Wiki creates a space that is not owned by anyone. Following up on Alan’s initial post, this decentralization of “ownership of the story” could be a healthy thing. Since young people are more tech saavy, it can be a way that we connect to the background stories of our Anabaptist friends from around the world.
If you want to collaborate with the project in a substantial way, (it needs volunteers to help monitor it and encourage posting) feel free to contact John directly at email@example.com
It looks interesting. I for one will follow it’s progression. I would also be interested to hear what it’s relationship is to GAMEO.org (Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online)? I know it’s probably more controlled than the Wiki will be, but it my understanding is that GAMEO is still inviting people to contribute info to the articles and include new ones. Are there differences in function and purpose between the two? Maybe this is a question already discussed. I’m just curious if anyone knows more about the relationship between the two.
Good questions. We discussed these distinctions at MWC. Matt and John know more of the deets. The relationship is still being worked out…but for example, for biographies on GAMEO, the person has to be deceased. That wouldn’t be the case on the Wiki. Also, the levels of formality are different, Wiki being full of info, but not necessarily for formal academic papers (much like Wikipedia is a reference everyone uses but doesn’t quote). Perhaps G.A.Wiki will have an interactive component too. That’s all I can think of for now, but if I find out more I’ll try to get some info and get back to you after the weekend. :)
John said he conversed with Sam Steiner, who works on GAMEO. The results, outcomes: GAMEO is a comprehensive encyclopedia, with a strong emphasis on history — only a very few people have editorial access to its content. The Global Anabaptist Wiki is much more open-ended, grass-roots, focused on the contemporary church (for which a bit of history is obviously needed, but not necessarily the major concern), with a stronger emphasis on individual stories, and eager for groups to post archival material. We try to cite GAMEO in content. So we are fellow travelers and collaborators, not competitors. We also are trying to encourage people to post in their own languages if they want to.
Any on-going counsel you might have for encouraging people to post would be helpful!
I think the description ST gives on the distinction between GAMEO and the Global Anabaptist Wiki is fair. The Wiki is a genuine wiki; GAMEO is not and is not intended to be. We are interested in updating and adding articles, and are trying to work with regional editorial groups at least loosely affiliated with regional Mennonite historical societies. We’re happy to hear from folks keen to participate.
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