As I’ve been working on Wikity (my own federated wiki inspired project) I’ve been struggling with this question: to what extent is there value in breaking down the wall between blogging and wiki, and to what extent are these two technologies best left to do what they do best? Mike Caulfield, “Can Blogs and Wikis Be Merged”
Blogs and Wikis seem too different. Blogs express opinions, ideas, and personal information where Wikis seem to include only factual information. Yes, blogs can be informational and factual, but in my mind blogs are more creative and interesting.
Wiki values are often polar opposites of blogging values.
I do agree with many points Caulfield made and believe that wikis and blogs could be merged. It may not be easy and it may not be very popular but it is possible. Both wiki and blogging have certain aspects that the majority of people do and don’t like. For me, I really enjoy that blogs are so personal and how one can create their page however they like. The same could be said for a wiki page but to an extent. One could write wonderful, beautiful things, but wiki lacks color and design. I would say that this makes a wiki page “less distracting” but it also makes it somewhat intimidating. I stray from wikis (mostly Wikipedia) because I’ll click on the link, see thousands upon thousands of words, get overwhelmed and find a site that is more organized and “user friendly.”
In my mind I see the two as separate. Blogs are opened ended where you can talk about anything you would like, where wikis seem like they are all for information. If you’re looking for a list of interesting pick up lines you could go to a blog or a wiki page, but if you’re looking for a funny story about someones experience with a pickup line you would most likely find that on a blog. Wikis just seem so serious to me, but perhaps that’s just the font and design.
I like the community aspect of both wikis and blogs, but the community is involved in two different ways. Information on certain wiki pages can be altered by anyone where on a blog one can leave a comment or suggestion. I prefer leaving a comment rather than completely changing someones work because I feel so invasive.
In all, I do think wikis and blogs can merge… it just may not be for me.