Sometimes it's true ... Wiki us just a bunch of LinkBins

In practice, this wiki often does what TopicMaps are meant to do : act as a graph-shaped, and hyperlinked index to other resources (both on and offline)

Does this make explicit CategoryLinkBin pages redundant?

Hey Phil, just a quick note to comment on how amazing your reading is - how did you ever survive, with such a curious mind, before wiki 8) Have you had any more thoughts on whether wiki is/can-be more than a link bin; do the topics/titles suffice to trigger your memory; do you intend/want to do more synthesis? Do you have any stories on how the capturing of so many links set off that little light bulb in an aha-moment, perhaps months after the event? Apart from the online stuff, have you read any good books lately? Ciao for now – kk

: Thanks for comments. Here are a couple of responses.

  • yeah, by inclination, I'm a generalist with "HummingBirdMind" (See the Wired story about TedNelson for more on this affliction :-) And yep, I was addicted to web-surfing from when I first got serious access at college back in about 94.
  • before wiki I had a lot of half-written articles which weren't polished enough for publication (even on my own web-site) One of the things I thought I found in wiki was a kind of "cultural permission" to put out half-written notes (more on WeblogsAndWiki)
  • Yes, the topic titles generally suffice to trigger my memory. In a sense they become like words in a language, loaded with historic associations and connections (see also WikiIsLikeLanguage)
  • yes I want to do more synthesis, but it's hard for me. In fact, it's possibly getting increasingly hard as I indulge myself in this kind of disorganized note-taking. For example, I want to write a longish piece on applying GiftEconomy thinking to FreeSoftware (as a kind of counter to EricRaymond's interpretation in TheCathedralAndBazaar ) I want to do this as a more organized essay, but I have to stop myself being side-tracked.
  • there is, of course, a kind of "emergent" synthesis which comes out of connecting ideas together. There are times when I actively discover associations which I didn't really have explicitly in my mind. I guess that's what you mean by "aha-moment". This happens all the time. See WikiIsPayingOff for one example I noted. In general, it's when I award myself BonusFreakyConnectionPoints or make a WarpLink. If you do a back-link on either of those terms you'll find occassions where light-bulbs have gone on.
  • I read a bunch of good books at the beginning of the year, when I had the world's worst dial-up connection, and so was pretty forcably off-line : These included KeithHart's MoneyInAnUnequalWorld, ASocialHistoryOfTheMedia, a fair amount of TheTimelessWayOfBuilding and Shalloway and Trott's DesignPatternsExplained (see BookList for other books I like). Since then I don't remember finishing anything :-( I always have dozens that I've started, of course. Currently the ones in the "cache" at the side of my bed include John Kay's "The Truth About Markets", CyberSelfish, and I'm having another crack at GenevieveVaughan's "For-Giving : A Feminist Criticism of Exchange" because I just got back from her conference.
  • I also have to try to read some chunks of text books for my job (I'm teaching programming at the university), some in Portuguese (which is very slow going). Oh and I'm trying to read a book called "A Universidade no Seculo XXI" (TheUniversityInTheTwentyFirstCentury) by Boaventura de Sousa Santos which I'll eventually fill in the page about when I get the full picture.
  • Can wiki be more than LinkBins? : that's a very good question. I think wiki is more in the sense that it's so freeform it can be moulded into many different shapes, including various blends. It can be a link-bin, but suddenly one page swells into a SlashDot style discussion, or another is an essay. An obvious comparison with a LinkBin style of wiki is these emerging groups of categorized link collections at (FolkSonomy).