Angus Bankes, CTO of Moreover, recently introduced me to Jeremy Ruston, the creator of TiddlyWiki.  I honestly did not really get it at first, but I have been using TiddlyWiki since last weekend and have really grown to like it.  According to Jeremy, who I spoke to this week, Tiddlywiki is a reusable, non-linear, personal web notebook.  On the TiddlyWiki site, Jeremy goes on to say:

It’s written in HTML, CSS and JavaScript to run on any modern browser without needing any ServerSide logic. It allows anyone to create personal SelfContained hypertext documents that can be posted to any WebServer, sent by email or kept on a USB thumb drive to make a WikiOnAStick.

As I’ve said before increasingly the web is becoming my platform and the browser is my gateway to rich services.  I have a public blog which you are reading here, a private blog where I bookmark some items and make notes to myself, a couple of wikis which we use internally at Dawntreader or with portfolio companies to work on specific projects, and now a TiddlyWiki which I use to organize my personal thoughts, put ToDoLists together, record call notes, etc.  Instead of having all of my notes in a notebook or in Outlook or Word, I now have a searchable, taggable personal notebook accessible through any web browser.  I can link to files in my hard drive, websites, etc.  It is open source and there is an increasingly strong community building new plugins and macros to add to your TiddlyWiki.  The great thing is that it is a selfcontained file with no server side installation meaning I can carry it with me, email it, put it on a USB drive, or even upload it to a fileshare internally or on the web.  I am still grokking this but needless to say I suggest that you save a copy of it and start using it.  I am currently using Johnny LeRoys TigglyTagWiki version which you can find here.  As for how big or active the community is, Jeremy says it is hard to tell but his site is getting 25k unique visitors a month and growing.  On Technorati there are 1271 posts with Tiddlywiki mentioned.  For an even clearer explanation of TiddlyWiki, I suggest going to Euicho.com.  Euicho does a good job of breaking it down to its elements, comparing and contrasting it to Wikis, and outlining the limitless possibilities:

  • It works great as a documentation manager for products, software, etc.
  • Do you have a desktop full of tiny .txt file reminders and notes? It can store little bits of information, reminders, and notes like that with ease.
  • It makes a great FAQ page.
  • Turn it into a todo list, with items as tiddlers.
  • Some use it as a blog.
  • Some use it as a website.
  • Make it your own personal dictionary/encyclopedia.

What I love most about Tiddlywiki is that it is quite easy to use but incredibly flexible.

Published by Ed Sim

founder boldstart ventures, over 20 years experience seeding and leading first rounds in enterprise startups, @boldstartvc, Saas 2.0, googlization of IT, security, smart data; cherish family time + enjoy lacrosse + hockey

3 comments on “TiddlyWiki”

  1. I can see the attraction for managing personal notes and thoughts. A few months back I’d started using EverNote and a while back I’d used OneNote from Microsoft, which had a nice paper metaphor, but wasn’t freely available, so my notes wouldn’t really be portable. (EverNote is free and BTW TiddlyWiki’s metaphor is more like EverNote which is more like a blog).

    Ultimately blog software and Tiddly Wiki are tools and tools that are freely available. So how do you make money? Six Apart did a nice job with the blogging space by concentrating on the service and community aspects. Perhaps the future here is creating a place/service where folks like you and I can just web into our personal notebooks and not even need to carry a Wiki on a stick or a laptop as long as we have access to a screen and keyboard, or where groups can share information but not need to manage it.

    Then there’s the challenge of monetizing it….

  2. re the comment:

    huh? – since when is the value of something determined by its price? I dont think you Grok free and open source software yet.

    and uh… for a lot of us the web isnt as accessible as we’d like, so a wiki-a-on-stick is far more useful than a web based file area.

  3. There is a new service, similar to Tiddly Wiki, called Unyverse, http://www.unyverse.com, which provides the same basic functionalities, but it is optimized for mobile phones, (Java and Windows Mobiles). It uses a small client application and allows offline server synchrnization of your content.
    The first wiki applications provided are : notebooks, contacts, RSS new fread and even Wikipedia search and bookmarks. Pretty cool

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