Going through my dissertation and research personal wikis last night reminded me a bit about how dated the paradigm of the wiki has become. Though ongoing life changes makes bursts of productivity extremely few and far between these days, it's crucial to take a step back and ask questions at times. Wiki was a great tool for what it does, but the authoring tools are fairly old school by Internet standards- WYSIWIG or HTML textarea, it's a square box you type into. If you want to connect your current page to another page, which was the entire point of wiki in the first place, you have to remember the exact name of the page you want to connect to, key it in precisely, and surround it with arbitrary markup your particular flavor of wiki supports.
This was a workable solution when programmers thought in terms of CamelCase variable names, and the tool of choice was the Regular Expression-centric language of Perl. It stopped being 1995 a long time ago, and among other things, we have 700 million Facebook users that are well-versed with concepts of groups, people, and "liking" "pages".
So let's steal ideas from Social Media's tools for connecting people, FB and Twitter and the like, and use their ideas for ways to connect ideas, data, and documents. Documents are static, ideas and people are not. At first glance, throwing a Facebook interface on a content management system is tempting, but not quite right. You can't change your friends, but you can revise "idea pages". Suppose you have two pages and can generate a view of mutually-linked pages. Or view a sub-graph of a few related pages and explore their connections.
Links in the Social Media world are undifferentiated. Many have ways to classify users into lists or categories, but it remains unclear how these are used outside of retrieval. Can you apply rules based on membership in a list? What happens to members of multiple lists? When working with managing documents and ideas, this will be a starting point, not the afterthought that Social Media has made it.
For no special reason, I'm finding AJAX irritating lately. Or maybe I've just run into a slew of poorly implemented versions. Either way, it's broke so please fix it. And no, don't start posting glowing comments about JSON. The problem of inventing exotic data structures was already solved by markup, so I never saw the point of recreating a problem to solve a solution.