Saturday, September 17, 2005

Halfbakery: the space of web media

I'm trying to figure out why I'm blogging and how it relates to what I'd really like to be doing, whatever that is. What I mean is, blogs are all very well but generating topical chatter is not a big priority for me, also I feel it's pretty useless since there are plenty of other (better) places to get stuff like that.

What I have is a bunch of linked interests and occasionally original thoughts, mostly half-baked, which I want to force myself to write down somehow, mostly so I can keep track of them but I also wish to share them with the world. Someone out there might give a rat's ass. I am at heart a frustrated intellectual who has never been able to pour my thoughts into the standard forms (articles, books, fields, careers) and this new webby world is perfect for me to vomit forth thoughts in whatever half-digested mass I feel like.

This leads me to a half-baked thought on web media which I will present as a handy table, if blogger lets me:

ChronologicalBlogsGroup Blogs

Dunno why this table is coming out so funky. Anyway, the point is that what I've always wanted for myself is in the ??? space -- something to keep track of my various topics, let me organize and weave them into something coherent. This all hearkens back to Ted Nelson's call for a decent writing system, from 30 years ago:

As far as I know, there is still not a Decent Writing System anywhere in the world, although several things now come close. It seems a shame that grown men and women have to rustle around in piles of paper, like squirrels looking for acorns, in search of the phrases and ideas they themselves have generated. The decent writing system, as I see it, will actually be much more: it will help us to create better things in a fraction of a time, but also keep track of everything in better and more subtle ways than we ever could before.
[Where is Ted now? According to this page, he's "currently undergoing reinvention".]

So do we have a decent writing system? Not really. I still shuffle piles of paper around. Google and desktop search tools make it easier to find what you have written. There are a variety of outliner and mind-mapping tools that are supposed to help get your thoughts in order, but I've never found them that useful. Maybe it's time to try again, or maybe some synthesis of these tools with the blog/Web 2.0 software world would produce something interesting.

Keywords: web 2.0, hypertext

1 comment:

goatchowder said...

It was famously said (on that IRC is multiplayer notepad.

I suppose blogs are multiplayer diaries.