There are two possible problems with Everything that I see right now. (Whether or not these are actually problems depend on how you look at it.)

  • Overlinking: People link every other word. They'll type a sentence such as "And this was a problem during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when JFK attempted to blockade Cuba." "Cuban Missile Crisis" should probably be linked, "JFK" should probably be linked, and "Cuba" should probably be linked. "Blockade", "problem", "during", and "attempted" probably shouldn't be. It's like linking "the".
  • The inability to have threaded discussions can be a real problem. As it stands now, a user can write exactly one writeup per node. When someone else writes a response, most of the time they seem to do a good job of letting readers know what they're talking about. But when someone who has already posted writes a response to a writeup which came later, it has to be put in the original nodelet. This can create a mess.

I'd like to see a kind of topic tree which can come up in response to node requests too, so that you can have one node about Hackers, and one node about Hackers the movie, instead of actually having to call the node "Hackers the movie." This would take some thinking to find an elegant implementation for, though.

I'd like to envision a site like Everything as being a generic repository of information, sort of like the Encyclopedia Galactica which was mentioned. Halcyon&On has been putting a lot of biomedical-related data into the database, for example. To really do a good encyclopedia we'd need all sorts of editorial controls and such so that when new data becomes available on a topic it can be updated without the old cruft laying around. Again, this is an implementation challenge. I don't know an elegant solution for it.