The concept of a concept of a commonplace book is rather simple: a collection of useful information. It can be in the form of quotes, recipes, lists, notes, pictures, anything. The info can be self created, or copied, or adapted. The goal is simply to make a personal resource.

Blogs can be a good example of commonplace books, especially the early ones, which were mainly just a collection of links. Other technologies that are now used (beyond a physical notebook) include OneNote and Evernote. The ability to easily sort the information is a vital.

Now, Hubski has a pretty great and unique set-up. The tags, like those on a blog, allow for easy sorting. Hubski as a whole could be taken as a sort of commonplace book.

I was thinking though, that by using a single dedicated tag (#commonplace), a more identified, eloquent, and coherent core of a public, sort of 'open-source' commonplace book could be made. By using associated tags, it would be easy to sort it further, and would create a place to keep useful links and self posts on Hubski. With the amount of users, a solid base of rudimentary info could quickly be created that would serve as a sort of archive for quick reference.

Obviously, Hubski in someway already serves this purpose on both an individual and community level. But it seems to me that an isolated tag could help seperate more discussion based posts and news posts from more information based ones. It could be a good idea to customarily reserve #commonplace to be a community tag added by someone other than the OP.

I'll be using this post as an interest gauge, and if it seems this is a good idea that people like, I'll post some links with more info on commonplace books to help get the ball rolling.


When I envision a "commonplace book" as you've laid it out, I envision certain websites that are maintained and curated by one person or a small group of people, about one subject or a small set of related subjects, like the following:

- - Looks like a brain-dump on the topic of unix and programming by a now-deceased programmer

- - An archive of popular videos from around the web

- - A massive collection of text files, mainly from the BBS era but includes some from the internet too.

- Be kind, unwind - A collection of "chill" music

- Very specific tumblr pages that are careful to only post/reblog a certain topic of content

- Pretty much any blog that has a well-defined topic (as you've said)

If you get rid of the "about one subject or a small set of related subjects" constraint, it just seems to me like you're making a public notebook. If you get rid of the "maintained and curated by one person or a small group of people" constraint, it seems like it just becomes a hubski/tumblr/twitter tag or subreddit, or wikipedia[1][2]. I'm super interested in the commonplace book idea, and have been toying with the idea of making my own website to start dumping my brain about a few subjects and creating some awesome resources. Hubski seems like it isn't quite the medium for this sort of thing, though.

[1]: Some wikis are amazing for the "collection of information", too - Obviously there's wikipedia, but the Arch wiki is a fantastic resource for Linux-related information. Maybe there should be some sort of hubski wiki?

[2]: side note, I've stumbled across a few wikipedia users' userpages - some of those are pretty good commonplace books as well.

posted by jleopold: 1307 days ago