New kinds of Encyclopedia

Hello all, I am new and will write an Introduction soon. I will be taking the textbook course from September and am very excited about it!

The textbook will be linked to the business I am building, to help people learn about the world of Watches. One of the products I want to build is an encyclopedia of watches. This already exists in traditional wiki format, which is large and informative, but almost totally inaccessible unless you already know something. Following linear clicks in that format is not an exciting way for people to learn.

I want to build a radically new form of encyclopedia, which makes it easy for people to explore and learn while remaining deep and comprehensive. Does anyone here know of similar products in other categories elsewhere? I have no background in education, so if these projects exist elsewhere I would love to research them. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel after all and would love to see what has worked best for others.

Thanks! Hamish

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Ooh cool topic Hamish, thanks for posting!

The first thing that comes to mind is tooling around “personal knowledge management” and “digital gardens”, which often uses more traditional wiki software, but also apps like Roam to enable e.g. more automated bidirectional linking and granular block references and other cool features.

Tiddlywiki is one app that’s basically wiki software but with a bunch of cool advanced features and I think plugins/themes available. Haven’t played with these too much personally, but lots of cool software in this space.

I know a lot of these sorts of tools are more for personal note-taking or organizing large amounts of information but not specifically for helping users chart a clear path through to learn stuff, definitely interesting to think about that aspect more!

Are there particular features / interfaces / modes of knowledge exploration for new encyclopedia formats you have in mind?

Hi Brendan!

Thanks for your reply. I am using Roam, but as a beginner in the PKM space, it is pretty ad hoc so far. I don’t have the discipline of many in the community who build these fancy structures and use all kinds of colours etc. Hopefully, my skills will build over time.

The vision I have is of a truly multimedia experience where the topics and entries are linked thematically and you are lead through different areas to learn. So like an interactive course but driven by user direction. I see no reason why learning resources should consist of text on pages. It is a genuinely ancient technology. Some people may immediately think of games, I don’t think I want it to be gamified, I just want modern multimedia covering an entire subject realm. I hope to build something that uses all digital media to help my customers learn. If done well, it should be enough of a differentiator to drive customer growth.

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