26 May 2003
I've been watching the blog scene develop for a while, and it's impossible to not want to join in. But there are things I'm not so keen about blogs. For a start the name, as my colleague Mike Two puts it, "blog sounds like something I should pay a physician to remove". Beyond the name, however, there's the very ephemeral nature of blog postings. Short bursts of writing that might be interesting when they are read - but quickly age. I find writing too hard to want to spend it on things that disappear.
I have similar mixed feelings about wikis. I like the way they allow you to quickly put stuff together. But they can easily lead to long rambling sites. And I do like the fact that blogs make it easy to see what's really changed recently - thanks to the hooks into RSS and aggregators.
So I decided I wanted something that was a cross between a wiki and a blog - which Ward Cunningham immediately dubbed a bliki. Like a blog, it allows me to post short thoughts when I have them. Like a wiki it will build up a body of cross-linked pieces that I hope will still be interesting in a year's time.
I intend to use this to post ideas that are forming, but either too immature or too short for a proper article. Also as I see questions posted on mailing lists or newsgroups I'll try to provide a lasting answer here.
For those who use RSS, I'll keep two RSS feeds. Updates will be used just for new articles from my web site - I'll try to keep the traffic low on that. Bliki will contain all the significant entries in the bliki as they appear.
Some have questioned the term 'bliki', since wikis allow anyone to edit while this is just for me. I think this reading misunderstands the nature of parenthood. After all, I'm a cross between my mother and father, but I don't inherit all my mother's characteristics.
(The term 'bliki' has been used by others - not surprising as it's a fairly obvious contraction. Currently SnipSoft produce a GPL'd bliki in Java. In my case I rolled my own in few hundred lines of Ruby on a flight from Boston to Bangalore.)