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Software Request: Open Source Personal Content Repository

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Posted by thouqht
Sep 11, 2018 at 02:33 AM


TLDR; I need a “future proof” content database. Am thinking a Wiki or even something like Wordpress. Ease of use, searchability, organization, access, and ability to migrate are significant concerns.

Hello CRIMPers,

Perhaps I’m at a point where some of you may have been in the past and am looking for guidance. Here’s my use case:

I run a business built upon content marketing and information products. Because of this, I produce a large amount of content ranging from blog posts, social media posts, youtube videos (and their outlines), and various courses.

As of now, this information is stored across a wide range of apps such as dynalist, workflowy, my computer file system, vim applications, evernote (two different accounts), OneNote, google docs, mailing list software, and most recently, notion.so (if only it was open source and self-hosted!).

I’m realizing that as my business progresses and my content output will only increase, this scattered storage has a real opportunity cost. In my line of work, it is very powerful to call up old content for new inspiration, to tweak and repackage, or reference for a larger work like a book.

With my information stored everywhere, it is almost impossible to do that efficiently. At first I was thinking to use Evernote, Notion, or any of the more niche software that this forum is fond of, but with the way things go in the software world, that just seems way too risky.

I would prefer an open source solution with a decent enough following that it could survive past any one person or business deal. And even if it couldn’t, it should be of a format that will hopefully be exportable or accessible in the future.

So it got me thinking about other things like wikis. In particular, my current front runners are:

- Tiddlywiki
- Dokuwiki
- Wordpress

So with all that being said, I’d love to hear what thoughts suggestions you all have. Thank you for your feedback.


Posted by Jan S.
Sep 11, 2018 at 09:21 AM


https://orgmode.org/ can do all of that. you might also want to index your files with something like http://www.lesbonscomptes.com/recoll/


Posted by Paul Korm
Sep 11, 2018 at 10:42 AM


Jan S’s suggestion of org mode is a good example of future proofing—because it has a long history of having been future proof.  It endures.

The key to future proofing your data store is to

1) Make sure your document types are likely to endure and are not proprietary or custom formats.  For example, if you understand JSON and do not understand how to transform JSON (or XML) files then do not use apps that create these files.  Markdown is often cited as “future proof”
2) Don’t store your content solely online in a cloud—behave and plan as though there is a 100% chance of failure of any given online repository in the course of your career.
3) If you store offline, then refresh your storage media at least once every 24 months.  There is also a 100% chance of failure of every storage device.

Wikis are not designed for effective document storage.  Your file system is. 

Remember the rule 3-2-1 rule: store every document 3 times, in at least 2 locations, 1 of which is off site.


Posted by Paul Korm
Sep 11, 2018 at 10:43 AM


Meant to write “if you do *not* understand JSON and do *not* understand how to transform…”


Posted by thouqht
Sep 11, 2018 at 01:36 PM


Thanks for the feedback, Paul, I try to stick with markdown or formatted html where I can for sure.

As for the org-mode rec… you might be spot on…

I’ve tried to use it before as my main editor, but no matter how much I fiddled with spacemacs or evil mode, I just couldn’t get it as nice as vim for pure editing and would ultimately always just go BACK to vim (primarily because vim with easy-motion is hands down THE most efficient way to edit text, and the emacs alternatives were always just a little bit lackin).

However, within the context of using it as a content repo, it might indeed be perfect…

After doing some more research, I’m between org-mode and tiddlywiki… both would take some effort to get up and running, but by the nature of this being a long-term project, that’s not the biggest deal.

Any thoughts on the pros vs cons between these would be helpful.


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