June 6, 2008
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WikiMystery 3: WikiNarrative

Today, we know how to use wikis to compose an encyclopedia, or a collection of programming patterns, or an employee handbook. But there's a lot we don't know. (Or maybe it's a lot that I don’t know, and you do. That's why I'm writing these Wiki Mystery tales.)

For example, how do we write a wiki narrative that extends over many wiki pages?

Homework: write a narrative account of a historical or fictional event as a collection of wiki pages. You must spread the narrative across the wiki — don’t have the story on one page and lots of annotations elsewhere. Nor should you take the one-page story and merely split it into segments named PartOne, PartTwo, and so forth. The wiki structure should contribute the the narrative organically; don't reformat a conventional narrative.

This ties to Mystery Two: if to name is to link, how do we link to moments in time? And, if to name is to link, how do we preserve narrative direction when each mention of AbnerDoubleday or JuliusCaesar takes us to the same place?

I have some ideas of ways it could be done, but I'm not sure how well they’ll work — or whether the problem has better solutions.

Update: Morbus Iff sends a link to Ghyll — a wiki game that offers a strange combination of the encyclopedic and the narrative. Based (I think) on a role-playing game proposal called Lexicon, bu Neel Krishnaswami.