Blog v. Wiki

Too many projects being done in a half-assed way for me to come up with a good post about any of them, but…

I’ve been exploring wikis and blogs as a way of keeping track of information at work, and I’ve come to the conclusion that each has its place, that I should not try to wedge bloggy stuff into a wiki or vice versa.

What is bloggy stuff? My project notes, mainly. They’re generated entirely by me, they’re associated with particular dates, they don’t change frequently, and they can be categorized according to project. And although I moved this blog from Blosxom to Movable Type a few months ago, I’ve decided Blosxom is a better choice for project notes because:

What’s wiki-y stuff? So far, our company network and phone layout, lists of commonly-purchased supplies (complete with links to the items at online vendor sites), our library of engineering standards, and an early start on equipment inventories. This information changes often, is—or should be—generated by more than one person, and probably shouldn’t be archived when it’s no longer current. I’ve been using Instiki, which was certainly easy to set up, but I think I’ll be moving to Oddmuse. Instiki runs on its own server software, Webrick, instead of Apache, and—on a Mac, at least—runs only when I’m logged in, which isn’t very convenient for a community service. Both wikis can use Markdown, so I should be able to move the articles we have so far over to Oddmuse.

Later this week, I’ll describe how I’ve set up my project notes blog, including the use of jsMath for equations and an @media CSS section for eliminating the navigational sidebar when printing the notes. Betcha can’t wait.