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TiddlyWiki for left journoes and researchers

by Dave Riley

I have been exploring the wonderful world of wikis lately and engineering a few projects in that mode such as The Activist Toolkit.

I luv the wiki way.( Now there's a t-shirt.)

I am moving a lot of my activity into wiki mode as I explore the platform and test its potential.I use it for podcasting, file sharing, web page creation, collaborative editing, pedagogy, and much more of what takes my fancy as a good idea at the time.

En route I've come across another pristine application -- TiddlyWiki --the habits of which are almost impossible for me to explain. As Jeremy Ruston its developer says:
A TiddlyWiki is like a blog because it's divided up into neat little chunks (tiddlers), but it encourages you to read it by hyperlinking rather than sequentially: if you like, a non-linear blog analogue that binds the individual microcontent items into a cohesive whole. I think that TiddlyWiki represents a novel medium for writing, and will promote its own distinctive Writing Style.
Theres' a crude video on Google which explores Ruston's concept further relative to the whole history of the written word and lineal or sequential writing.

In many ways this blog harnesses some of these concepts developed further by Ruston. LeftClick's NEO template
runs like that, on hyperlinks. That's the great power of the labels in the left hand column and the easy access to content in the central column.

TiddlyWiki goes further so that the journey around the content is a massive collage of optional choices. that are layered as you access them but not layered such that you cannot easily pull one back up to view it.

Take this DIY site as an example: TiddlyWiki for the rest of us.Explore the links and you'll get an idea of how it performs.

So what?

Maybe you are thinking that this is just another Web 2.0 stunt--a flashy exercise in playing with code.I thought the same too when I started to play with it. But when I had engineered my site a bit and got used to the unusual interface the startling potential hit me so I chased after the promised engineering.

I spent a late night on my first Tiddly...

This is where the TiddlyWiki comes into its own special relevance.TiddlyWiki is an ingenious free application that is ideal for taking and organizing notes, and managing small personal databases. I can orchestrate this wonderful notebook via a simply process of copy and paste on or off the web by using a Tiddlysnip addon I can pull into my TiddlyWiki stuff from anywhere on the web and incorporate that with material form my own desktop.

The wonderful trick is that you run TiddlyWiki as an application on and off the web by a simple one click process of upload and download syncing. And the best way to do that is run it off your USB stick (if you've got one) so that you can take your work anywhere you want to.

Science Matters
a personal TiddlyWiki science notebook

So if I was writing an article or a talk I can pull my web resources together and tag them for easy and very quick access and reference as I have this TiddlyWiki ability to search my own data base in a flash.

Aficionados suggest you should run a TiddlyWiki as your note taker for your whole university degree or to pull your Phd thesis together. See this example. (or click on the image above)

Unfortunately a TiddlyWiki isn't an easy thing to master. The logic is so different from lineal logic that it is hard to get your head around the protocols. But I suggest that you apply yourself and let the platform Tiddly teach you to wiki by interacting with the site and creating your own magic by trail and error (and "error" doesn't matter one iota. TiddlyWiki is forgiving of fools like me).

But once you merge an online site with a Tiddly on your desktop or archived on your USB stick (or within your mp3 player which can serve the same role) the world's your oyster.

2 Com:

Dave Riley | February 28, 2008

I've been using TiddlyWiki to aggregate web material on the ABC Learning Centres for a GLW article.

What I failed to mention in the above post was the massive power of TiddlyWiki's tagging system.

This means that in the space of a quick web search by using TiddlySnip I've aggregated, tagged, copy and pasted 17 articles or reports on ABC Learning Centres all of which i can access in TW with the simple tag "ABC Learning" which gives me "all tiddlers tagged with 'ABC Learning'". That is presented as a drop down box or I can open the tag with a full list as its own tiddler which gives me the snazzy list of links to my own notes:

* tagging:
* 7.30 Report - 01/03/2006: ABC Learning faces court battle
* ABC Learning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
* ABC Learning halts trading - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
* ABC Radio National - Background Briefing: 22 February 1998 - Child Care Pains
* ABC Radio National - Background Briefing: 3 October 2004 - Child-Care Profits
* Answers sought from ABC's nowhere man
* Behemoth poised to tighten nationwide grip - National - smh.com.au
* Child care subsidies - an overview - CareforKids.com.au ®
* Childcare business spoonfed | The Australian
* Cradle snatcher - National - smh.com.au
* Debt concerns slash ABC Learning's share price - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
* Family Assistance Office | If your family income is $35 478 or less
* Family Assistance Office | If your family income is more than $35 478
* Green Left - Cover Story: Child-care subsidies: only for the rich
* PM - Concerns over ABC Learning's dominance of childcare
* The World Today - ABC Learning suspends trading
* The selling out of children's services
* Ultimate test for childcare group | The Australian

Dave Riley | February 28, 2008

FYI:I've changed my TiddlyWiki to PUBLIC view here. It's undeveloped and messy but theres' enough there to get an idea.I pulled my ABC learning tag into the menu margin for your reference. So go for a trip on Tiddly.

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