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Monday, June 20, 2005

Fad, gadget or trend? How do you rate Tiddlywikis?

Tiddlywikis are html files enriched with a lot of javascript. The main feature: all internal links, called Tiddlers, are contained within the file, even when their not visible. Once you click on a Tiddler-link, they open. And then you can also edit them. For more details see the link above.

A TiddlyWiki is like a blog because it's divided up into neat little chunks, but it encourages you to read it by hyperlinking rather than sequentially: if you like, a non-linear blog analogue that binds the individual microcontent items into a cohesive whole.
So we have a nice tool. But what for? It's good for collaboration. But not better than other Wikis. It's good for single-person use, as you can carry this one file with you (on a USB stick, for example) and work with it everywhere. That works quite will for notes, To Do lists, etc. There is also a getting things done GTDTiddlywiki, an adaptation of the Tiddlywiki for To Do lists, etc.

And there is a Tiddlywiki Novel, a nice idea with a non-linear plot where you decide for yourself which direction the story should take - depending on which Tiddlers you click...

So is this really something that will take off like the reguar wikis or blogs even?
I personally think, it won't. The non-linear flowis interesting, but also confusing. Even though we have managed to improve our mind in terms of grasping complex setups (see the NY Times article (for non-registered users click here) about how television made us smarter in the last 20 years), I still don't think that the general public is willing to work with or only read something that non-linear.
Even I don't like it, when there are too many of side-tracking links in articles.
But in a couple of years this may be different...


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