Several nights ago, Emily and I were discussing what a To-Do list manager she wanted would look like. I thought about it some more, and realized that it would be a neat generic interface to a Wiki back-end.
I see a split screen: the bottom part, at least half but possibly more, would be the content of the current wiki page, and the top part would be a 3D representation of the ‘nearby’ wiki pages. It might well look like a chemistry-class model of a molecule. Front and center would be a large bubble that represented the current wiki page. It would probably list the table of contents for that page, if it had one.
Behind the bubble would be other bubbles representing ‘nearby’ wiki pages, with frontlinks and backlinks represented by different colored ‘springs.’ Multiple links could be represented by thicker springs. The size of the other ‘atoms’ (pages) could be determined by ‘distance’ (number of links from here to there) and the size of the actual page.
This visual representation might be useful for ‘flythroughs’ describing and diagramming type and density of knowledge in a wiki. It would be useful for rapidly navigating between related concepts to find the most appropriate material. Most important, it would be fun and pretty eye candy.