Community

Illustration: Alex Nabaum

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The Community
Wikipedia, the publicly edited online encyclopedia, has fundamentally changed the way we think about information—and the power of collaboration. "We know one of the things that effects change is community," says the site's co-founder, Jimmy Wales. (Just having a friend along when you're facing a hill, according to a recent study, causes you to estimate the slope as less steep than if you are alone.) Wales suggests that the new upgrade in motivation is anonymous support. As he puts it: "You may not want to tell your friends, 'I'm trying to lose 10 pounds—will you help me?' But in an online community, you don't face that embarrassment. Also, people with the same goals can discuss all the conflicting ideas out there and come up with good strategies for change." For what it's worth, wiki is Hawaiian for "hurry."
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