The basic principle of a wiki is a shared space that anyone can edit. This simple idea is based on collaboration and communication and has generated fantastic stuff.

Recently (BlinkBits) and forthcoming (Squidoo – currently in private beta) two applications launched, which take the concept of the shared space, but tweak the notion of how the content is generated:

(screenshot from Seth Godin’s sample lens)

Squidoo [] takes a kind of free information markets driven approach (darwinian visibility of the best/most informative), a shared space of monads (lenses) that anyone can create, but only the ‘lensmaster’ can author.

From the blog:

Wikipedia has a system with one entry per topic. We don’t. Instead, we encourage multiple lenses on a topic. Then, we use an automated algorithm to rank the lenses. We look at user ratings, lensmaster reputation, clickthrough rates, frequency of updates and other factors and give the lens a number. And we make it clear to the lensmaster what her rank is and how to improve it. If we do our job right, every time you do a search, we’ll choose the best lens from among the relevant matches and show it to you. Of course, it’s easy for a surfer to see all the lenses, not just the highest ranked one.

BlinkBits [] takes a cummulative approach. Once a ‘blink’ for a concept is created, it aggregates quite a variety of sources and anyone can add content (links, comments, notes, etc.) in an unfiltered way.

It will be interesting to see how they will affect our information ecosystem.