Five principles for successful mass collaboration, part 3

Linux has succeeded as a product only because the community that supports it has organised itself systematically to create, share, test, reject, and develop ideas in a way that flouts conventional wisdom. Successful We-Think projects are based on five key principles that were all present in Linux. Earlier I introduced three principles; here are the final two.

A mass of contributions does not amount to anything unless together they create something ordered and complex. An encyclopaedia is not a mass of random individual contributions; it is a structured account of knowledge. People playing a game or building a community need to agree rules to govern themselves, or chaos ensues. How do We-Think communities govern themselves without an obvious hierarchy being in charge, enforcing the law? This challenge is not technical but political. We-Think works only when it has responsible self-governance, and that is a particularly difficult thing to achieve in highly diverse communities.