Today's dilemma: wiki page or blog entry?

May 27, 2006

As time goes by, there's an increasing amount of stuff I want to write down. One of the things that stalls me out on this (apart from the sheer effort of writing) is the question of where and how I should put them; in particular, should I make a wiki page or write a blog entry?

In theory this shouldn't come up; WanderingThoughts is part of a hybrid wiki-blog, which I've extolled the virtues of before. In practice this is an illusion; the real difference between wikis and blogs isn't in the technology, it's in expectations and how pages are connected to each other. The two worlds cannot be so neatly joined, because they work in ways that clash.

Blog pages are only weakly connected to each other (sometimes they're only linked by time). This makes them easy to create but hard to navigate through to find anything as they grow. Categories, tags, and 'related entries' setups are all attempts to layer on something like the strong web of connections wikis have between their pages.

(Partly this happens because blog entries don't have to be even conceptually connected to each other, whereas wiki pages usually exist precisely because of their connections to other wiki pages.)

This is where the expectations come in. Blog entries are points in time (partly because the primary presentation is by time), which makes revising one significantly over time feel more than somewhat odd. The way you revise a blog entry to account for a better understanding of the subject is to write a new one (and maybe add an 'Updated: see ...' to the old one).

The much lower friction for blogging creates a constant temptation for me to just write stuff down as blog entries instead of putting up a wiki page and hooking it into the overall structure of CSpace. The result is that some entries that have long-term interest are probably being lost in the darkness, because there is no really good navigation to them.

(Yeah, yeah, 'set up better navigation'. There's always more things to write, which is part of the problem; it's easy to walk away from a blog entry once you've written it. Possibly writing this entry will help prod me onto the thorny path of virtue, too.)

Written on 27 May 2006.
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Last modified: Sat May 27 03:31:16 2006
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