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If you are looking for the blog about Wikipedia, please transfer yourself to [WikiLog].

WikiLog: an attempt to synthesize the best aspects of WikiWikis and WebLogs.

See also: WikiWeblog, ThreadingForWiki

[CategoryWikiTechnology] [CategoryWebLog] [CategoryUncommonWikiTechnology]


WardCunningham suggests Bliki (blog+wiki).



WikiWikis are good at sifting and synthesizing knowledge from data. This is an ongoing and collaborative process, undertaken by many people, contributing to and editing the data flow in an attempt to derive meaning from it.

WebLogs are good at presenting ongoing data and encouraging Socratic-style dialogue about it.

They both qualify as CollaborativeHypermedia, but they approach the function differently. WikiWikis treat media as a shared endeavor, or a set of knowledge to be built. WebLogs treat it as a flow to be discussed and commented upon. To put it succinctly, WikiWikis manipulate the data, WebLogs comment upon it.

My interest is in online community-building. This, I think, sits right in the middle of wiki and weblog, in that they both provide a place for people to gather, and a shared enterprise for them to engage in. Both, however, fall short of the task of community-building in different circumstances and for different reasons.

WebLogs are too transient. It is very difficult to keep a discussion active on a normal weblog system for longer than a few days, or weeks at best. Partly this is a tools failure, but partly it's due to the linear nature of weblog content. Information is treated as a flow, or stream, which is added to in a linear, chronological fashion. Often, the same topics are raised in successive posts, and re-discussed, frequently covering ground that has already been covered, better, previously.

WikiWikis avoid this linearity by being an interconnected web of data. Nothing ever goes out of date on a Wiki, and any old post can be refreshed and revived when it becomes relevant and interesting again. However, Wikis are possibly even worse at encouraging community than weblogs, because they lack a basic discursive nature. People like to go back and forth on things, and there isn't a feeling of discussion on a wiki, but one of editing and revising what others have said. Yes, you can "discuss" on a wiki, but it goes against the grain of the system.

The basic gist is to marry a wiki's ability to create complex nests of knowledge with a weblog's encouragement of dialogue, and I think you'd have a very powerful space for community.

In other words: There seem to be two kinds of content, roughly equivalent to ThreadMode and DocumentMode, and the trick is to merge them somehow.

Link Pattern

Some people think that the LinkPattern on a wiki is important. Certainly WikiWords will catch the eye of your visitors. Whether a WikiWord names a concept, however, is open to debate. Whether camel case helps AccidentalLinking has also been challenged. At the moment it seems that this is mostly a question of aesthetics.

Paring Down Comments

A great strength of wikis is the paring down of comments. Currently, one can expect to find points made multiple times in a weblog discussion. In the WikiLog, those comments are refactored into a single, more potent comment. Similarly, a flurry of point and counterpoint can be summarized much more succinctly (supposing anyone is willing to deal with the ThreadMessNightmareFromHell?). And who can argue with the power to delete troll comments or soften their language?

I think it's a neat idea if it can be made to work. I'm not so much interested in seeing wikis become more like WebLogs, but I'm happy at the prospect of the reverse. :-) I forsee some problems, however:

Accountability. Weblogs deal with huge masses of information. While a WikiLog would likely have less volatility, a WikiLog of KuroShin's stature might receive more traffic per day than all extant wikis combined -- even without a diary feature. Who will police all this activity? I wonder how much we might expect the average WikiLog reader to take interest in actively maintaining it. Rusty, do you have any statistics on a views-to-edits ratio?

Interface. How will we interface to this database? I can't readily picture how this information would be presented to the user; nor how the user would interact with the information, making contributions and weaving together pages. Perhaps if the interface were provided in a Java applet, but that is the very antithesis of LynxFriendly.

Ego. Most people have a lot of adjusting to do to understand the WikiWay. Some will be offended even if their spelling is tweaked. Many will be offended if their comment is merged with someone else's and loses its unique identity.

Moreover, all of this has to be achieved as simply as possible. Seconds-to-download-a-page and clicks-to-post-a-comment must be comparable to or better than that for a WebLog. -- anon.

Automatic Aggregation

(Beyond mere PageAggregation, that is.)

I've been calling the unit of editing a "Note" and I see pages as being assembled out of Notes by the system in some more-or-less predictable way. I evisage post-hoc linking as being similar to parenting. Link strength depends on voting. Mentioning a Note can cause its content to be inlined at the point of reference. This raises issues of InvoluntaryTransclusion, ContentSwizzling etc. Some problems here I don't have good solutions for. -- DaveHarris


External links and lists: AbbeNormal:WikiWeblogs, Pikie:WikiWeblogs, CraoWiki:WikiWeblog (in LangueFrançaise).

Sources: An article in [PC Magazine] with a short interview with WardCunningham.


See WebLog and WikiDefined for a discussion of the two guiding principles for wikilogs.

Software combining wiki and weblogs:

<i>Richard, this sounds fanatastic!, my newbie thoughts about this are at PersonalWiki, (or I will have to dig them up) Of to play! - MarkDilley

Zope solutions (have either of these actually been done?):

Are these really wikis?


Also see ModWiki, http://www.ourpla.net/john/wikiweblogpim.html, http://www.ourpla.net/cgi-bin/pikie.cgi?WikiWeblogs AbbeNormal:WikiWeblogs.

See also (distantly related) the demo for [AtomWiki:AtomWikiGateway], which allows a third-party to give a wiki an Atom interface. Atom is a protocol for automated interaction with blogs (although, as shown here, it can be applied to reading/writing other web resources, too).

There are also some features of EditThisPagePHP that are between a blog and a wiki. It only adds an "edit this page" button to a single page, but it supports diffs (like a wiki) but also posts then in RSS form (like a blog), it supports trackbacks (like a blog) but also supports pure HTML (like web pages).

Since the advent of one push button publishing to blogs, blogging whole WikiPages has a higher level of wikiness as more complicated approaches. See WikiBlogging -- FridemarPache

Wikilog Design Approach?

It is interesting to note that the approach taken for a WikiLogs is heavily biased towards WikiWiki-like functionality. A case of WikiFirst? ? Here is my proposal. Why not present the design of the WikiLog from a more WebLog like perspective and from a more WikiWiki like perspective? BlogMashVsWikiMash


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