BackPack, Its nice, but its not enough.

I should know better than to expect something I really want to be what it really should be.

Kudos to 37signals for making BackPack, a “Wiki without the Wacky”. They took a very simple concept for not very deep ideas and are going to let people take hold of concepts that many may not have used yet. It was sold a bit high though. It’s not as formless as they led me to believe. Each page is rather independent of each other, there outline/check off list is one tier deep. They require you to use their file storage, their picture storage, and instead of having you fall in love by investing yourself. 3 pages is all you can create off the start, and even at the maximal tier, 250? Man I exceed that in my personal wiki. How can I use this data in aggregate to do neat things? How does this empower me more?

Unfortunatly I use wiki’s. I have Confluence and that is like the next generation of wiki’s. Page permissions, lots of tree depth, and not much form so you can harness it in a lot of ways. I like what 37 has done with the idea of reminders, and email-handlers. Of course with Confluence you can code any sort of listener and attach it to an incoming mailbox so technically this idea should migrate around once it hits the streets. However, reminders aren’t per page, it’s global. RSS feeds is top down, not page supported. Every where I look for depth or modular/granular control I can’t find it.

This should have come out like every other good project right now and just had the doors blown right off it. Get feedback, run through an iteration, make everyone on fire, and then start to work in a fee structure once you see how people are using it.

As it stands though I just can’t see using this unless I need to do something outside of myself or my tools. A quick place for me to work with people I don’t want to give access to my wiki’s. It’s an arm length approach and that doesn’t happen very often. However, if you are looking for what boils down to a virtual filing system that requires you to pay-for-storage then its right up your alley.

37signals thus far has hit some pretty good niches that aren’t being met by anyone out there. I can only hope they continue to grow and start to blend in a bit more of the granularity, dependency, maybe a little fuzzylogic based on weights/tokens, link-able, reusable ideas/data, and then we will see a real killer-app for those of us who desire &/or require more.

Until then for my GTD is still Life Balance and for my world of notes goes Confluence.