Start : my Digital Sketchbook

02 Sep 2017

Three-minute read



I’ve failed to follow-through on the Wiki idea, I think because I’ve been worried about the public more than about serving my own notebook needs! What started as collections of links and code and ideas has morphed more into mini-articles! This is different than my original goals detailed below, so we’ll see if I change course again!

I am starting this wiki right here. I am starting with an idea. 1. that hyperlinks/hypertext and hyper-anything are pleasurable post-paper ideals 2. that the concept of a hyperbook as a collection of pages linked non-linearly is simple but inspiring 3. Auriea Harvey talks about the idea to Make Wikis Not Blogs (She didn’t say those words but I’m paraphrasing in the form of a bumper sticker). She’s talking about a Wiki as a form of self-portraiture.

A wiki is a system for making web pages. It writes most of the code for you so that you can concentrate on the content, on the form of each page. so each page of a wiki is a container. the other data surrounding it is persisent (the HTML/TITLE/BODY/CSS tags, any optional sidebars or whatever) But the page of a wiki can theoretically contain ANYTHING. it is an empty book. a blank canvas. but it is also endless. I would like to view the wiki as a little box i whisper into. people can look at it, but not directly. like a total eclipse.

I keep wanting to go back to using analog Sketchbooks… i miss it dearly being scrawl based rather than text based. i hate being text based. but what the wiki allows is the ability to learn from history. things are never folded away forever but can become part of a larger continuum of thoughts, ideas, images. The keyboard is jut not an ideal input for this. I wonder if having a Tablet PC would augment this activity in a good way?

Leaving aside that last remark about alternative interface beyond the keyboard, why am I Lee making a wiki-style site? I think I too am trying to use this as a sort of space to jot down notes, organize, but also build tools, create a mess, etc. I looked into many wiki softwares/systems. My requirements were the ability to write on any computer and phone. Commandline but also web interface. Ability to style/css. Include images. And be loose-messy. I see that there is a community on Medium, but I don’t want to have my writing mediated through someone else’s platform, and besides, my experience is that every 5 years formatting changes, sites go down, costs are implemented or advertisements added. I’m not thinking only of 2017 but of 2020, maybe even 2030, maybe beyond.

I checked out Gollum, TiddlyWiki, and a million more. Then I though about good old HTML, and markdown, and could it live in a git repo? Maybe! I’m going to try it.

This isn’t a wiki for anyone else. It’s for me. I may share it with people I care about. It will live online so it can be referenced anywhere. It will adapt and change. It will have typos and mistakes!

Other names: Wiki Wild Wild, Hyperfoot, Hyperduck, Casual.wiki Appreciation and thanks to Aureia.