Return of the Wiki

To drink in the enthusiasm we've witnessed in some corners of Twitter, bidirectional linking will evolve what's possible...for those who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of learning this enigmatic craft. As fate & capitalism would have it, an elite cadre has popped up to help enthusiasts learn how to benefit from bidirectional linking. By all accounts, those who successfully assimilate the ideas of these programs transform their lives for the better. It seems reasonable, and I believe the experts are doing great work to which they are wholly devoted.

But how different are today's opportunities than what came before? To technologists of a certain age, the groundswell for a better connected network of ideas hearkens back to the halcyon days of 2005, when wikis were The Next Big Thing. Back then, companies like Wetpaint raised $40m to help organize the world's knowledge. "A lot of venture money is flowing into wiki products" said Techcrunch in 2006. Having ubiquitous, bidirectional linking with surrounding context info was creating transformative opportunities in companies where people knew how to build them.

With a couple major exceptions, wikis fizzled out, never catching on for personal use. Having set up my share of wikis during the early 2000s, I can attest that it was "worse than Wordpress"-level bad for Twiki and Mediawiki. Developers might struggle through it to better capture their personal ideas, but the benefits of bidirectional linking were largely relegated to business knowledge software.

New startups refreshing ideas from the wiki craze is a great outcome for productivity enthusiasts. Wikis were a great start, and today's easily accessible personal tools keep improving how well individuals can organize and utilize the entirety of their worldly experience. We are all in on raising up the humble wiki to live up to->exceed the first round of promise.

With regards to Amplenote specifically, we see bidirectional linking as a form of knowledge accumulation. A good notebook helps you accumulate knowledge, because knowledge gives way to good writing. Thus, Amplenote will continue to support knowledge accumulation features, to the extent it is useful for those who do a lot of writing/researching.