This post is an experiment with the WordPress dwBliki plugin and a rambling about blog/wiki integration in general.
Even though the title and categories make it look like one of the DokuWiki entries, I’m creating it in WordPress. I’ve seen that the plugin will take a new DokuWiki page and put it in the WordPress blog. Now let’s see if works in reverse to put this in the DokuWiki. If it does, that will be be pretty cool. If it doesn’t I’ll see what happens if I then create a page with this name in the DokuWiki.
So, what does it mean to integrate a blog and a wiki? The dwBliki plugin seems to ignore that question in favor of simply implementing the cool hack of embedding the full blown DokuWiki inside a WordPress plugin so that wiki pages become blog entries. The difficulties I’m seeing with that have to do with the mismatch of purposes.
A blog consists of a series of frozen snapshots ordered by time. A blog grows in two directions, through the addition of new posts and through the comments and trackbacks. Editing old posts undermines the blog by rewriting history without informing interested past readers. A blog is the creation of an individual. It is a personal journal, or at least a vehicle for the creative work of a particular author or a small collaboration of authors. Even when a blog is used as a discussion forum, posts are the creation of a blog owner, replies are the static creations of their authors linked in a temporal chain.
A wiki consists of a web of linked expressions of topics. The expressions and the links change over time. There is no “author” for a page. Even though it is possible to follow the revisions of a page and see who the authors were, a wiki does not provide a view that would make that history visible as a form of discussion thread.
So what does it mean to combine a blog and a wiki? I have some ideas about that, but I’m going to save it for a later post. Right now I want to see the results of the experiment and get some sleep.
[update:] I created a page in the wiki named blikithoughts, which would have created a blog entry with this name. This blog page did not change.