Ed Taekema - Road Warrior Collaboration 19.5.2004

May 2004
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A blog looking at business communication, knowledge management, scripting tools, OS technology news and other things of interest to mobile tech workers. As I find interesting news this will also contain pointers to thoughts related to configuration managment, change management and general software development.

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Integrating Weblogs and Wikis

As part of a knowledge management effort on our intranet, we have both a wiki (TWiki) and several blogging tools (mostly PyCS). I've detailed some of the struggles that I've had with getting all this accepted and implemented. One of the interesting things is that the wiki has proven easier explain and gain widespread adoption. But I still think that the weblogs are an equally important part of the overal communication/collaboration platform that I am trying to setup.

What I've done recently is to integrate weblogs postings into the wiki. Now there are hybrid tools out there that are interesting, namely comercial tools like SocialText and Bill Seitz's WikiLog. Since we are already setup with TWiki and PyCS, I've experimented with connecting up the two tools. The technique presented below still doesn't compare with what truely integrated wiki weblog tools can do, but it is an easy first step if you already have both wikis and blogs in place.

It turns out to be trivially easy to do using PyBlagg which is now called Spycyroll. This is a simple aggregator python script that builds a static web page out of a set of RSS feeds! It is template based so it is pretty easy to customize the html that gets generated.

I setup a nightly cron job that builds an html based aggregator view of our internal blogs and then drop that into the wiki. Since TWiki mark up uses both its own wiki syntax and regular html, it is able to present the pyBlagg produced view of the blogs as if it were any other page in the wiki.

This has greatly expanded the internal readership of the blogs since people can now use the wiki as their aggregator. Additionally, it has had the side benefit of making Wiki words that are used in a blog into links when viewed within the Wiki! Pretty neat. And, it adds in blog postings to the fulltext search in the wiki which makes it easy to search both blogs and wiki entries from one place.

posted at 12:25:36    #
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