Weblogs and Wiki are two of the most exciting genres of OnlineWriting.

What they have in common :

  • both fragment writing to smaller atomic chunks than traditional documents or web-pages (MicroContent)
  • both have a high density of linking
  • both are based on technologies which make adding extra chunks extremely simple
  • both can be created by groups or individuals (early on, group efforts predominated, but now personal examples are becoming more prominent)

: I notice that in fact both weblogs and wikis are examples of SystemEvolvingTowardsMoreSmallerSpecialistComponents. Weblogs now have a link-roll of more links with less commentry. This wiki, meanwhile is increasing the number of pages with very little writing : simply a node to connected to others.

Where they differ :

  • Weblogs are timely, Wiki is timeless
  • Weblogs are highly externally linked, Wiki are highly internally linked (the BlogRoll is the emergent unit of weblog organization, whereas the Wiki itself seems to remain the unit of wiki organization ... although there is InterWiki and interest in a wiki for wikis - OneBigWiki - which is in begining stages at <http://www.worldwidewiki.net/wiki/WorldWideWiki>))

** see also BillSeitz:SisterSites concept which is pretty cool

  • Wiki is about refactoring and annealing collaborating, writing, creating and changing at the text level. Blogs are about timelines and commentary pushing thoughts retreating to a personal enclave and publishing memes.

Cultural Permission

There's something else important about Wikis and Weblogs. It isn't just that they provide the capacity to write short, note-like pieces or to quotes from somebody else with a one-line comment. Right now, they also provide a cultural space where you have "permission" (in a sense) to write in this way. Traditional media only rarely tolerate publications of notebooks and aphorisms. And then, typically by people who've already become famous for writing more structured works.

Originally a web page with this kind of content would also seem "lame", unfinished. Now the genres of wiki and weblogs have appeared. they are the places that allow you to write like this.

See also AgainstFinishedness, NetocracyVsAcademia

Wiki vs. Weblogs

or the Wikisphere vs the Blogosphere

One hypothesis is that the more frictionless writing and discussing is, and the more open it is, then, as long as enough people engage in it, the faster it will evolve. Thinking already evolves very fast on the blogosophere, but in a big, engaged wiki-community could perhaps evolve even faster ... WhyIsntEverythingWiki?

: In many places I think ThisWiki has achieved a granularity finer than you could get away with on a weblog. The ideas are very small and their content is solely in their name and connections. Naturally I expect this will allow them to collide and react faster than a weblog. A classic link-log style blog like RobotWisdom doesn't have a comparable connectivity to a wiki. (See also WikiIsACauldron, BangTheRocksTogether)

  • weblogs = writing for a community
  • wiki = writing by the community

Wiki and weblogs need different mind-sets to use well. Interestingly the Echo people seem to have had difficulty getting wiki-mind.

: thought : could it be the perfectionism that attracts people to Echo, the "we need to design this again, properly" mindset (ThePerfectRewrite), is incompatible with WikiNature?


Integrating wiki and weblogs with the same software