The two most valuable new developments in internet software in the last five years are blogging and wiki. They are both fundamentally new forms that arise because publishing is now extremely cheap. Blogging gives a voice to one person, whereas wiki gives a voice to a community. Blogging is certainly the better known of the two, which isn’t surprising given that it is easier to coordinate the efforts of one person than those of a crowd. Even so, I have been surprised that wiki, which is so useful and widespread where I work, has not made more of a splash. The short course on wiki goes like this: anyone can add, edit, or remove pages from a wiki site. What sounds like a recipe for chaos is surprisingly stable. The New York Times put together a good article about it:
Business Is Toying With a Web Tool. As I mentioned, though, we have been using it with great success at my company for over a year. The grandfather of all wikis is the PortlandPatternRepository. If you’re curious about how a wiki really works, read this OneMinuteWiki page from that site.
Finally, shifting to blogs for a second, here’s another New York Times article about the quasi-public lifestyle that goes along with dating a blogger: Dating a Blogger, Reading All About It. It’s nice to see a blogging article that isn’t about Blogging and Its Impact on Modern Journalism. This is the more human, and decidedly more common, side of blogging.