Category: Wikis

500 Ways to Be Inspired by Wikis

When I visualize a positive future for the world, it’s networked, interconnected, creative, and emergent.  It’s collaborative and aware of its history.  It looks like a wiki.

Like podcasting has, wikis (beyond Wikipedia) may still prove to be a technology that saw a burst of nerdly excitement, then a long period of obscurity, and then a break into the mainstream.  I’m hoping so.

The first wiki was created by Ward Cunningham in Portland, Oregon in 1995.  It’s still up online!  Cunningham has now been working on something called Federated Wiki, a very cool project that celebrated its 7th birthday this week. Wikipedia was launched in 2001 and in an era of rapidly increasing information warfare, there are few communities as experienced and prepared to help as the community of Wikipedia. Google, Facebook, and all of us should give it a lot more money.

One year ago this Summer, I was reading that first wiki, WikiWikiWeb, and thought – I want a wiki of my own!  And so my private, personal, mobile-responsive wiki was born.  (I use PMWiki software unloaded to my web host account.) It’s now my second-most visited site on the web (after Twitter) and I adore it so much! I put all my notes from reading in there, my notes from meetings, personal brainstorms, lots of things. I LOVE MY WIKI! I usually edit and read it on my phone. I love my “all recent pages” page, I love my “randomized list of 3 other pages” page.

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Finding new value in old notes

One of the journals I keep is a Daily Q&A journal, which asks the same question each calendar day every year for five years. It’s a great exercise in seeing what’s changed in your life and what’s not; where I’m moving toward my goals and where I’m stuck.

That ability to better understand the present in context of the past is one of the many things that’s valuable about old notes. I’ve thought for some time that if I was going to start another company right now, it might focus on re-surfacing new value from old notes. I love thinking about how old wisdom or information sheds new light on new circumstances. That’s a phenomenon I’d like to think about a lot more. For now, some specific examples.

Today my daily Q&A journal asks “what was the best thing you read today?”

On this day in 2014, I said it was a Chomsky interview in The Sun. Incidentally, I’m reading a wonderful Chomsky book right now that I got in a Free Library walking down the street. (I live in Portland, there’s Chomsky just laying about here.) Why did it take me four years to get back to reading Chomsky? Because the interview wasn’t that good. The book is great though! It makes me think that a great author shouldn’t be judged from one piece.

On this day in 2015, the most interesting thing I read was my own Evernote file of important thoughts recorded in the month of May. (Read more...)