There have been two recent changes on my website – the redesigned theme and the book-as-a-wiki. They are related developments. The reason I needed a new theme for my website was because I wanted a blog and a wiki integrated into the same website with a seamless theme.
If you visit the blog and the wiki, you will not immediately notice any difference except for the sidebar. This is intentional so that there isn’t a abrupt transition between the two software. After all, the content is more important than how it is being displayed.
But why a wiki?
Ever since I read about Tantek’s personal wiki, I have been fascinated with the idea. Having a wiki of my own to post anything seemed useful. As Tantek said:
“It’s also a place I’ve kept notes or documents that I expect to keep current / update in place, as opposed to blog posts, which are more like snapshots of thoughts in time.”
LifeHack also has a good introduction to personal wikis.
The advantage is that anything that can be benefited by many eyeballs can be put up on the wiki. For one, I can send it to people and get their feedback and improvements. Second, people can always stumble on to it via google or yahoo and they can contribute as well.
And then, there’s always all the goodness of MediaWiki such as versioning, ability to undo and rollback edits, good anti-spam features and even generate PDFs, thanks to PediaPress.
All these advantages of the wiki led me to recreate my book into the wiki, and it is already achieving great results. How else would a 20-year old student who lives in the Amazon work on a Brazilian Portuguese translation of a Python book and collaborate with others?
All the content is under a Creative Commons license so that the information belongs to everyone.
I’ll be slowly adding my tidbits, notes and link collections on different topics to the wiki. Of course, they will be always in a state of work-in-progress. Many things can go in there – right from trekking howtos (I get quite a few emails on that, surprisingly) to some entrepreneurship resources in the Indian context, and so on.
However, it’s important to keep in mind is to NOT add to the information overload, but to simplify things and cut the crap out.
You are welcome to add your suggestions and comments on the wiki using the discussion pages.