The Semantic Bliki

My friend Steve has been doing some thinking around and about the convergence of the weblog and WikiWiki mediums; a medium that has become known as bliki (or wikilog). Steve thinks that a wiki might be a good place to store blog comments.  Martin Fowler's weblog, wherein the creation of a CamelCased blog entry pushes the output to both a blog and a wiki is probably the most famous bliki.

And here's an interesting thought:

[0xDecafbad via Steve]"If it works effectively, I should be able to pull my weblog writings in the moment into longterm topics, and refer to longterm work in weblog entries, all with a minimum of effort. In fact, it would be best if this system could surprise me, by making unexpected links or by reminding me of long forgotten thoughts."

Ahhhh, the semantic bliki.


Bliki Links

  • FlexWiki.BLiki
  • Martin Fowler's Bliki
  • MeatBall:WikiLog
  • Comments (19)

    1. Louis Parks says:

      Lest this be considered blasphemy, why is there such fascination with wiki? I really don’t get it.

    2. I’m sure somebody else can answer your question much better than I. For me, I am more fascinated by the _potential_ of Wiki than by anything I’ve seen in real life. For example, a reader recently suggested that Microsoft host a Wiki version of our .NET Framework documentation online. Why? Why not? If we can give our customers a place to both learn how to do stuff with our products and also share their wealth of knowledge with other users, why not? This blog and other technical Microsoft blogs is a perfect example of the value of customer input. Sometimes your comments turn out to be more insightful, intelligent, and illuminating than my posts. For example, see the comments for

      Second, WikiWiki is a democratic social computing construct, which appeals to me as a little ‘d’ democrat and as a citizen of a little ‘d’ democratic country. In this way, it shares much with a little more well-known social computing construct: the world wide web.

      Finally, I think that WikiWiki appeals to software developers in particular. It does so on a variety of levels including:

      1)Most Wiki implementations have a ‘Design Mode’ and a ‘View Mode’, which is a UI design convention that is practically unique to software development tools. I should note that ‘Design Mode’ affordances are beginning to appear in consumer-oriented products such as MSN.

      2)Wiki is close to the metal. The technology underlying a Wiki is simple and visible. It’s not hidden under layer upon layer of fancy UI.

      3)WikiWiki is a pattern-friendly construct. Software developers, especially of the Architect ilk, are enamored of patterns.

    3. Louis Parks says:

      I guess that makes sense. I think much of that can be accomplished with having a newsgroup or blog with comments though.

      I think my biggest issue with Wiki, other than the fact that it feels so bandwagon-ish (I’m a blogger now, so I guess I shouldn’t say that, since I’ve just hopped on one.), is that you can easily delete other people’s content. That just strikes me as bad form. Why put something out where just anybody can edit (or delete) it? A password protected comments section or newsgroup seems to do the same thing as a Wiki, but the content is preserved.

      The annotations section on the Longhorn SDK on MSDN are a great example. Anyone can jump in and say what they think, but the content is never harmed.

    4. Ben Dehghan says:

      well, techinically, in a wiki no content is deleted. you create a new version of a page but there is a history of the page. it’s important to note that you can only vandalize/add to/delete from/spam/flame one page but the next person can come and revert the changes by going back to the history and grabbing the previous version and saving it.

      but, there is of course room for improvement on wiki technology. first, you can require login. this reduces random acts of vandalism to a certain point. then, you can request an edit or multiple of each submission. the editors could be only some special people that super powers in your community. and many more improvements like that.

      on the notion of bandwagon:

      it’s true that a lot of people are now noticing wiki. that’s because it makes sense and it’s innovative! not a valid argument, but neither was the original assertion…

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