A structured notebook that I share
Saturday, January 9, 2016 by Dave Winer

I want to share ideas that have some meaning to them, a way of creating value.

Think of it as deliberate metadata creation on a personal scale.

For example, I'd like to have a notepad where when I binge-watch a new series, something I don't do that often, I make a note about whether I liked it or not, and possibly what I did or didn't like about it. Usually it would have to do with the story. That's what gets me sucked in. I think that's also true for most people.

Then with a good set of reviews attached to my person, I could share this info with my friends, and they could find good ideas for new things to watch. Right now there is no organized way to do this. I think it's our destiny as a species to figure this out, and have a very high level of confidence that the recommendations would work. And of course somehow this data would be available to the people who create the entertainment so they know what to create more of. Perhaps. It might just give them ideas. 

Same with lots of things. 

You know the data is in our brains. It's a pain in the butt to get it out of there and on to the net. That's the hard part.

Today social networks are good at grunts and snorts. Hi here I am. I am going there. Who I am with now. That's good, I think we have that mastered. The trick is to learn new dances. Only so much can be done with a chat app. 

  • I was talking to a friends about a related idea recently. We were talking about a hypothetical Evernote replacement and one of the options I suggested was a sort of modified WordPress platform that a user could install on a server of her choice and use as a sort of repository of ideas, documents and other materials but using a more open and distributed product. This hypothetical platform could also be designed to give users the option to share with limited users or publicly too. I don't know if this is technically feasible, it was an idea that appealed to me. It could be pretty interesting, though.

    • Of course it's technically feasible. I don't use Evernote. But I do take notes. ;-)

      • I use it quite a bit mainly because it is a pretty good way to gather mixed content items in a single "note" (I'll often add a PDF, image and/or text to a note about a particular topic). I was thinking about more open options that could emulate that general functionality but not the pseudo-lock in that comes with using Evernote. Plain text notes are relatively easy to manage on their own but I think that have this mixed content-type notes is really useful too.

        • You can put as many PDFs as you want on a note, or just one?

          • It varies depending on the note but it isn't just PDFs. I often use Evernote to grab pages for later reference. Here is an example: https://www.evernote.com/l/AAPm10sz2SFK9JpHSuM-3vdZK6zDh1GARu0 - To answer your question, though, multiple PDFs in one note and a combination of RTF (Evernote doesn't really do plain text - always struck me as weird), images and document attachments.

            I suppose I use it this way because I can and there are other ways to capture this sort of content. Evernote just does it pretty well and as much as I'd like to have something more sustainable (if Evernote ever goes away, it would be a pain in the butt to preserve my notes in some useful form), well, Evernote does it pretty well.

            This is mostly a thought experiment at this point. I don't believe that Evernote is the last app that will have this sort of functionality. It is a matter of time before someone comes up with some sort of ubiquitous capture/reference app/service that has that sort of sustainable future that open formats and platforms promise. I just haven't seen something like that yet (at least not from my user perspective).

            • BTW, you can create links in this editor. 1. Select the text you want to link from. 2. A popup menu will appear offering link as an option. Choose it. 3. Paste the URL. 4. Click the check. This feature thanks to the excellent medium-editor project. 

    • Take a look at turtl.it it might be what you are looking for, I particularly like the security. 

      • Interesting! I see you can run your own server too.

  • It's funny, because in the last few weeks, I've been thinking about writing about things I like. For example, let's say I really enjoy a podcast, and I want to give specific examples. Well, there isn't a really easy way for me to quickly jot down a note (with the episode and time) -- at least that I have found.

    Having this style of note-taking would be invaluable for me! Thanks for sharing!

  • A few ages ago, circa 2000, I was using www.everything2.com to keep note of almost anything. It allows notes on ideas, things, places, persons, anything. It is still up and running. It was H2G2 from before en.wikipedia.org .  

    Now, I tend to put my shareable notes (ideas, things, persons, anything else) on my blog on G+. But that is organized focused on me personally, not easily found by others. A lot of what I want to share is about places (locations, reviews, photos, roads, maps). I found a good way to share to the most people  is to contribute the information about places into Google Maps. Can easily review places, add photos, adding places via my mobile.

    I can also see metadata about things found on Amazon.com is better reviewed there, where it is readily accessible to other prospective buyers. Also detailed metadata about movies say is better shared on IMDB.com .

    What may be good is to have a single portal that we could use to put all our personalized shareable notes/metadata; where that portal know how to reformat that metadata to be sent to other metadata portals like Google Maps, Amazon, IMBD etc.

    Ooops ... may be too long as a reply, and should be on my blog. :-)