Friday, 6 August 2010

Publishing diaries

Drawing together the twin threads of using wordpress for content management and electronic laboratory notebooks one could imagine that if one used a blog as a diary say, it would be possible to render this as epub using something like anthologize and to also make a printable version.

Now why would you want to do this?

Well people like reading diaries - for example my account of a trip J and I made to Laos at the end of 2005 has been read by quite a few people over the years and even ended up in a UN bibliography, ie people gave it some value.

Now when I did it I wrote all the individual bits into kwrite and the selected and posted them into a xinha window on the blog. At the time I didn't keep the kwrite originals as I didn't think anyone but me and a couple of friends would want to read it so I ended up downloading the bits later on when it proved popular, sticking them together with open office and generating a pdf. Just so 2006!

(And in retrospect incredibly useful given what happened to the blog in question - always backup, startups, no matter how cool are just three or four guys like you and me and just as prone to stuffing up)

Now if one wants to review content one wants it in a convenient format - and one probably only wants a subset of the blog - after all most blogs are multi threaded and if you want something on history you don't want the ereader stuff, but split it up and put it to a set of documents - say all the blog entries tagged chile to make a diary of a trip to Chile, and if it's recreational reading you might want it on paper, in your ereader or whatever.

Diaries (and blogs) are fairly linear, so this works rather nicely. Wikis of course, being hypertexty, are non linear, but if the pages have an implicit order, or suitable embedded metadata, one could imagine refactoring them as linear body of text (eg in project documentation 5.1 comes before 5.2 and both come before 6.0, or in a collection of biographies, A comes before B, etc etc)

So I guess what I'm saying is that blogging technology (and possibly wikis as well) can be used for content capture and then content republication, just as Isabella Bird wrote her account of her time in Japan as a set of letters, because that's how people communicated then.

Maybe I'll try it ...

1 comment:

dgm said...

see Publish your excavation in minutes for an anthologize use case ...