Just stumbled upon Connected Text and SMW+ Semantic Media Wiki. Why not share some thoughts and facts and links about this?
I am using TheBrain and Evernote for storing most of my information since years, TheBrain being my digital brain in fact.
Both are still my ‘state of the art’ tools for personal use.
But thinking about collaboration for shared information and no restricted access via internet today you end up typically with some kind of Wiki system.
My favorite since one year is TikiWiki because of the most complete feature-set as a CMS and for collaboration of segmented teams.
Now two of the TheBrain powerusers suggested ConnectedText, a personal Wiki System, for text-oriented content including kind of free format but structured information. In fact it is a quite powerful implementation of a Semantic Wiki.
A Semantic Wiki is able to store ‘semantics’ which are called annotations or properties or attributes. These informations enable powerful retrieval like in a database. In fact you are able to mix free format text with information you had to store in a database or some tables apart from the text up to now. Talking in more advanced terms you may build up an ontology which you may use by an ontology browser.
So why considering SMW+ as an alternative to ConnectedText (CT)?
CT is a single-user system (personal Wiki). There is no feature for collaboration like in a normal Wiki which is implemented on a server for web-access. And for the same reason you have to export the content to HTML if you want to publish it.
If you want to use a Semantic Wiki inside a company for information sharing & retrieval & database (knowledge-base), you may end up with this semantic extension of Media Wiki (MW).
MW being the core of Wikipedia.
SMW – Semantic Media Wiki is built upon MW.
SMW+ is built upon SMW giving some built in extensions for better editing and retrieval of the annotations.
SMW+ is a semantic enterprise Wiki for teams that need a human-readable and agile knowledge base for collaborating on rich text and data in their daily work.
Find a short comparison of CT and SMW+ and TikiWiki at:
For now I will give SMW+ a try for being my 2nd personal ‘brain’.
update (17.1. evening): Just on trying to install the first recommended addon, I ran into big trouble and lost the installation. Since the same error occured on two machines I think, SMW+ is not mature. I have posted the problem to the forum. For now I will try to go back to SMW and find out if this has the same problems. Maybe SMW+ has too many goodies?
The big advantages to TheBrain are for me:
- structured (semantic) data
- open access for collaboration / publishing
- classical representation for Text & pictures
- no cost for the product
- kind of widely used standard
If you would go for a personal Wiki system only and more or less restricted to only one computer or for use on a stick travelling with you, my choice would be CT. The installation is easy and the system is stable.
If you search for a ‘throw all in’ system with still uncompared flexibility in linking whatever you want to link inside this brain, give TheBrain a try. It does mind-mapping beyond the classical mind-mappers. But using it for collaboration or publishing or on more than one computer has several difficulties.
Being asked by a company / team for starting a ‘knowledge base’ and ‘process-tool’ my answer would be SMW+. (But check the licensing conditions for commercial use and be prepared for much more complexity in installing the system and addons.)
Only if they are shure not to use ‘structured data’ or semantic annotations TikiWiki will be more powerful and flexible.
I will try to add more detailed information here about features and how these products differ.