2018-08-31

A Personal Wiki

The wiki is an ideal format for the organization and accretion of information. It allows potentially many authors in parallel to incrementally add to the picture as they get inspiration to do so, and it allows readers to easily follow lines of interest and context along exploratory paths through a vast system of knowledge.

The wiki originated as the answer to the question “what’s the simplest hypertext database that could possibly work?” And it really is quite minimal. You have pages, and you have links between pages, and the pages can be easily updated by anyone.

But as a format for a personal website, it needs some adjustment. No longer can anyone edit, which means you might as well make it static. All that’s really left is the notion of incremental writing and heavy interlinking. That’s still pretty useful.

I’ve had thoughts on the value of incremental writing before.

Heavy interlinking is good as an information structure, because it allows one to easily represent connections between information, easily organize hierarchical or other structures, easily break a section off into a new page, etc, all with very few ontological commitments.

This wiki-ish principle is how I seek to organize the information on this site.