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Magazine format versus computable data format

These are somewhat unstructured ruminations about the role and nature of the subject wikis. I’ll draw here a contrast between two alternative formats: the magazine/blog format and the computable data format.

In the magazine/blog format, time plays a key role, and the units of production are individual articles/blog posts/ideas posted at specific times. The interaction and feedback to these then influences subsequent articles/blog posts.

The computable data format focuses on providing data in a highly polished and easy-to-use form. As time passes, the data gets modified, but at any given stage, the data represents a collection of data and not so much a timelined sequence of articles/posts.

The computable data format is great for getting specific data quickly. But it fails to offer something that the magazine format excels at: new, exciting, serendipitious stuff that we weren’t looking for or actively seeking.

In the modern web era, the magazine format can do double duty as semi-computable data when there is a plethora of archives to search. Conversely, the computable data format can be used to create small magazine-style missives.

The subject wikis are essentially of the computable data format, not the magazine format. However, it would be great if some features of the magazine format could be adapted to the subject wikis. This would help attract people to the websites to regularly check out content and generate a higher level of excitement.