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Indeterminate Heuristics
Personal Knowledge Management Platform I'm Considering for Development
by Dale Asberry
November 28, 2005
Various web service APIs have been maturing, other technologies have become available, and my own personal thoughts have congealed such that I can create a useful personal knowledge management platform.


I started thinking about PKM (related to some of Dave Pollard's recent blog entries) in my May 13, 2004 entry, Tip: Enabling personal knowledge management. I'm not using most of those tools at the moment, mostly because it takes too much time to manage the software. I also have taken a strong liking to layered web applications that build on smaller-scope web services. I have been a fan of combining blogs, wikis, and mindmaps - part of the reason that I like SnipSnap (bliki software that has a mindmap plugin). I've done some considerable thinking about using mindmaps and am not sure it's the best solution - other visualization techniques (like hypergraphs of tagged items) may be more appropriate. I can't find the blog reference that got me thinking about it in the first place, but the gist of the entry was that it's easier to tag a link rather than to categorize it. Hypergraphing (tags) vs. mindmap (categorizations) seems to be a very similar issue.

I think that now I'm to a point where I can start working on a concrete product offering. The features of the PKM platform would be:

  1. accessible online with future offline access
  2. primary focus is grouping and searching
  3. tags provide context for the grouping and searching (I have some cool "magic" in mind that would differentiate from other providers)
  4. visualization tool(s) would assist navigation
  5. utilize the most popular web applications such as Furl,, gmail/yahoo/etc., and google
  6. would be hosted and integrated with a bliki
  7. would be accessed using an Ajax interface
  8. would provide multiple layers of privacy so that some content could be shared with friends, etc.
  9. would value-add existing web service apis
  10. each web service api used would be openly accessible including the apis with my special "magic"
  11. some set of basic features would be free, but the aggregation of all features would require a monetary subscription

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About the Blogger

R. Dale Asberry been hacking since 1978, professionally since 1990. He's certified in Java 1.1 and has a four digit MCP number. He discovered Jini at the 2000 JavaOne and has been building incredibly cool, dynamic, distributed architectures ever since! Over time, he's discovered several principles that have contributed to his success - they are the Princples of: Enabling Others, Simplicity, No Complaining, Least Work, Least Surprise, Least Damage, and "It Just Works".

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2005 Dale Asberry. All rights reserved.

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