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Meatball logo.png
Type of site
Created bySunir Shah
Current statusRead-Only Archive

MeatballWiki was a wiki dedicated to online communities, network culture, and hypermedia.[1]

According to founder Sunir Shah, it ran on "a hacked-up version of UseModWiki".[2] In April 2013, after several spam attacks and a period of downtime, the site was made read-only.[3]


MeatballWiki was started in 2000 by Sunir Shah, a forum administrator from Ontario, Canada, on Clifford Adams's Internet domain[4] 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."[2] 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."[5]

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. 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".[1] It describes the general tendencies observed on wikis and other on-line communities, for example the life cycles of wikis and people's behavior on them.[4]

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.[6]

The MeatballWiki members created a "bus tour" through existing wikis.[7][8]

Barnstars - badges that wiki editors use to express appreciation for another editor's work - were invented on MeatballWiki and adapted by Wikipedia in 2003.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ a b "Meatball Wiki". 27 March 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  3. ^ RecentChanges; first archived "This page is read-only" page.
  4. ^ a b "MeatballWiki". WikiIndex. 4 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  5. ^ "Meatball Wiki: MeatballProject".
  6. ^ 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). Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  7. ^ "TourBusMap". meatballwiki. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  8. ^ Matias, Nathan (3 November 2003). "What is a Wiki?". SitePoint. SitePoint. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  9. ^ Zhu, Haiyi; Kraut, Robert E.; Kittur, Aniket (2016). "A Contingency View of Transferring and Adapting Best Practices Within Online Communities" (PDF). 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 Author's copy

External links[edit]