TiddlyWiki is changing how I think about writing online

I remain infatuated with TiddlyWiki. There’s a certain genius in its design that has captured my imagination.

As an experiment, I started a new wiki and published it at rudimentarylathe.org. I’m easily distracted by shiny new things, so I spent a few days learning my way around TiddlyWiki by posting notes and miscellaneous snippets there.

What I’m finding is that TiddlyWiki is changing how I think about writing online. I don’t yet understand why, but I suspect it’s about being able to just throw things at it without feeling like I’m “publishing”. There’s no RSS feed. The only way anyone else might read what I write there is if I link to it on my “real” blog or if someone just stumbles upon it. It feels like a personal, but not private, space.

I think of each “tiddler” in my wiki is just a blob of text that is by default unrelated to everything else. I can link and tag them in order to define some semblance of structure, but it’s not necessary. There are “Recent” and “New” tabs but otherwise there’s not really a “timeline” of any sort. I’m currently putting recent entries on the main “Story” view but that’s probably just vestigial behavior from years of a reverse-chronological mindset. It’s very refreshing!

Any wiki could do most of this, but there’s something different the way TiddlyWiki goes about it. It feels different, in that it’s not page-based, but note-based. Or maybe thought-based. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’m digging it.

So, what am I putting at rudimentarylathe.org? I’m not sure yet. So far it’s been…

  • Daily “Journal” posts about whatever I’m thinking about
  • Notes about software that I use or want to use
  • Technical notes on how I solved problems
  • Things I’ve learned
  • Quotes or interesting bits from things I’ve read
  • Books I’ve read
  • ???

I can’t wait to see where this goes.