Why the French hates Wikis

14 Nov 2006 (Tue)

An interesting post by EE Kim, Why the French Hates Wikis External link icon (opens in new window):

At WikiSym last August, Ward Cunningham showed some regional trends External link icon (opens in new window) comparing Google searches for “wiki” and “blog.” Overall, searches for “blog” (in red) steadily outpace searches for “wiki” (in blue), although the rate of growth is about the same for both… the phenomenon is reversed in Germany External link icon (opens in new window)… [and] in Japan External link icon (opens in new window)… At WikiWednesday this past week, PeterThoeny said that he had shown similar trends for a recent Wiki talk, and that he also showed the trends in France External link icon (opens in new window)

Whoa, Nellie! Apparently, the French don’t care much for Wikis. It was a shock for me to see this, as I know several stellar French members of the Wiki community and even more French-speaking members. Any thoughts as to why this might be the case?

My guess: Japanese and Germans are on the whole very cohesive people who tend to identify closely with their communities. The French, on the other hand, are generally known to be highly individualistic. Wiki collaborations are basically “corporate” or community-based. Therefore, it’s not surprising that most French people should “hate” wikis.

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Posted by J.K. in Collaborative, Psychology, Technology, Types (Profiles) | View Comments |

  • http://blogs.clappingtrees.com JK

    Interesting! According to Wikipedia:

    As a pejorative term, the word “collaboration’ can describe the treason of cooperating with enemy forces occupying one’s country. As such it implies criminal deeds in the service of the occupying power, including complicity with the occupying power in murder, persecutions, pillage, and economic exploitation as well as participation in a puppet government.

    The use of “collaboration” to mean “traitorous cooperation with the enemy,” dates from 1940, originally in reference to the Vichy Regime in France, as well as the French civilians who sympathised with Nazi Germany’s doctrine and voluntary troops (LVF) who fought against the Fighting France and later De Gaulle’s French Force. Since then, the words collaboration and collaborateur have this very pejorative meaning in French (the shortened form collabo only has this pejorative and insulting meaning).

    Another reason why the French hates wikis?

  • http://blogs.clappingtrees.com JK

    See also discussion with Steve in Me2U@Athabasca (an Elgg learningspace).

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