I have begun an experiment on my mother. Today I introduced her to wiki. She is 82 and it is quite unclear what long term effect wiki will have on someone of this age.
If this experiment proves successful, we might try it on patients of a similar age. Of course it is not simply a matter of age, it is also the technical competence. It was immediately clear that drag and drop would prove tricky. Double-click was a challenge.
I set up the wiki quite well I think. I forgot to add all the onboarding information and help pages, but that accident turned out for the best I feel. instead we talked quite a lot about what we would write and why. i showed her the pages, and views I'd made of other peoples writing. I showed her todays activity, and was quite proud of that page. It showed wiki at its best.
And then we write.
She chose the topic My fourth birthday. She gets distracted with other tasks, but I fork her page, and when I come back from posting the christmas presents I tell her that I finished my page before her. "I won", I said.
It works. She gets animated and into her writing. I'm intrigued as to the story. I've not heard this story of when she was four before.
Perspective comes again to the fore. When I fork her page, it is natural for me to write about my memories, not hers. What do i remember when I was four? I write my own story. I imagine my daughter, and son writing the same. That would be meaningful. It is not something we do otherwise. It would be good.
There is sadness in these thoughts. I know the interface and other issues, make it unlikely this experiment will hold. But as I write this I hear the sounds of keystrokes on the keyboard as my mother writes here first proper wiki page.