From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Type of site
Created bySunir Shah
Current statusActive (Read-only archive from 2013 to March 2021)
Content license
None (Content is copyrighted by MeatballWiki or respective authors.)[1]

MeatballWiki is a wiki dedicated to online communities, network culture, and hypermedia.[2] Containing a record of experience on running wikis, it is intended for "discussion about wiki philosophy, wiki culture, instructions and observations."[3]

According to founder Sunir Shah, it ran on "a hacked-up version of UseModWiki".[4] In April 2013, after several spam attacks and a period of downtime, the site was made read-only.[5] In March 2021, the site was de-spammed and reopened for editing as part of a rebuilding effort alongside Ward's Wiki and Community Wiki.[6]


MeatballWiki was started in 2000 by Sunir Shah, a forum administrator from Ontario, Canada, on Clifford Adams's Internet domain[7] MeatballWiki was created as a place for discussion about Ward Cunningham's WikiWikiWeb and its operation, which were beyond the scope of WikiWikiWeb. As Sunir Shah stated in the WikiWikiWeb page referring to MeatballWiki: "Community discussions about how to run the community itself should be left here. Abstract discussions, or objective analyses of community are encouraged on MeatballWiki."[4] Shah created this site "as a friendly fork of WikiWikiWeb." About the Meatball project, the website says: "The web, and media like it, looks like a big bowl of meatball spaghetti. You've got content – the meatballs – linked together with the spaghetti."[8]

According to Igor Nikolic and Chris Davis, MeatballWiki was spun off of the Portland Pattern Repository, the first wiki.[3]

Relationship to wiki community[edit]

The original intent of MeatballWiki was to offer observations and opinions about wikis and their online communities, with the intent of helping online communities, culture and hypermedia.[citation needed]

In Good Faith Collaboration, Joseph M. Reagle Jr. describes MeatballWiki as "the wiki about wiki collaboration".[9] Being a community about communities, MeatballWiki became the launching point for other wiki-based projects and a general resource for broader wiki concepts, reaching "cult status".[2] It describes the general tendencies observed on wikis and other online communities, for example the life cycles of wikis and people's behavior on them.[7]

What differentiates MeatballWiki from many online meta-communities is that participants spend much of their time talking about sociology rather than technology, and when they do talk about technology, they do so in a social context.[10]

The MeatballWiki members created a "bus tour" through existing wikis.[11][12]

Barnstars – badges that wiki editors use to express appreciation for another editor's work – were invented on MeatballWiki and adopted by Wikipedia in 2003.[13]

Evgeny Morozov of Boston Review notes that another Wikipedia norm around voting may also have stemmed from MeatballWiki.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Meatball Wiki: MeatballWikiCopyright". Retrieved 2021-07-04.
  2. ^ a b Ebersbach, Anja; Glaser, Markus; Heigl, Richard; Warta, Alexander (2008). Wiki: Web Collaboration (2nd ed.). Springer Verlag. p. 430. ISBN 978-3-540-68173-1. a community that has reached cult status and that focuses on virtual communities, network culture and hypermedia
  3. ^ a b Nikolic, Igor; Davis, Chris (30 Apr 2012). "Self-Organization in Wikis". In Egyedi, Tineke M.; Mehos, Donna C. (eds.). Inverse Infrastructures: Disrupting Networks from Below. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 114. ISBN 9781849803014.
  4. ^ a b "Meatball Wiki". 27 March 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  5. ^ RecentChanges; first archived "This page is read-only" page.
  6. ^ Posts on meatball:MeatballToDo and meatball:SunirShah.
  7. ^ a b "MeatballWiki". WikiIndex. 4 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  8. ^ "Meatball Wiki: MeatballProject".
  9. ^ Reagle Jr., Joseph M. (2012). Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia. MIT Press. p. 60. ISBN 9780262288705.
  10. ^ Vaughan, K. T. L.; Jablonski, Jon; Marlow, Cameron; Shah, Sunir; Mayfield, Ross (2004). "Beyond the Sandbox: Wikis and Blogs That Get Work Done". ASIST 2004 Annual Meeting; "Managing and Enhancing Information: Cultures and Conflicts" (ASIST AM 04). Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  11. ^ "TourBusMap". meatballwiki. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  12. ^ Matias, Nathan (3 November 2003). "What is a Wiki?". SitePoint. SitePoint. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  13. ^ Zhu, Haiyi; Kraut, Robert E.; Kittur, Aniket (2016). "A Contingency View of Transferring and Adapting Best Practices Within Online Communities". Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing. CSCW '16. New York, NY, USA: ACM. pp. 729–743. doi:10.1145/2818048.2819976. ISBN 9781450335928. Closed access icon Author's copy
  14. ^ Morozov, Evgeny (November 5, 2009). "Edit This Page". Boston Review. Retrieved 2023-10-04.

External links[edit]