Twine for Personal Knowledge Management, but Not Yet


Twine logoRadar Networks has unveiled its semantic web application Twine, a “revolutionary new way to share, organize, and find information.” Twine offers personal or workgroup knowledge management with natural language processing smarts.

Twine allows you to organize, find, and share information in the form of notes, bookmarks, images, videos, and more. A “twine” is similar to a wiki, in that it may be specific to a certain subject or project, can have multiple members, allows for permission-based updating, and supports moderation. You tag the content you add to Twine, but the twist is that it tags your content too, by using natural language processing to figure out what it’s about.

Twine home

Here’s a recipe for Twine: take social bookmarking and mix with Vox’s multimedia content support, controlled social sharing, and item-based commenting. Add the subject focus and moderation capabilities of a wiki like PBWiki. Season liberally with DevonThink’s artificial intelligence processing that automatically understands content and gives you a way of navigating the concepts in your information space.

That last bit of seasoning — the meaning processing part — is what distinguishes Twine from the various tools you might use to build a personal or workgroup memex. Twine enriches the content you add by figuring out what it’s about and adding tags alongside the tags you provide. Over time, your Twine builds an interlinked conceptual web of people, places, and things that you’re interested in. You can navigate your Twine using these conceptual maps of your information space.

Twine is built upon a platform that Spivack calls the “first Internet-scale semantic web platform.” If he can get a sizable web community to bring what they think is important into Twine and make it available for Twine to mark it up with meaning then Twine could become a de facto meaning map for much of the world wide web. Twine could be a starting point for navigation by concept online.

Sound like something you want to try? Unfortunately, it’s still in private beta. Spivack said they’ll be adding new users in gradual waves over time so they can learn and scale as they go. For now you’ll probably have to stick to your bookmarking or online notebook or desktop information management tool for personal knowledge management.



I had an invite, but after reading their Terms of Service (all your content are belong to us) decided not to use it.

“You retain all ownership of and copyright in any User Content you post or submit to the Site. If you post User Content to the Site, unless we indicate otherwise, you grant Radar Networks and its affiliates a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, edit, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such User Content throughout the world in any form or media.”

Anne Zelenka

The home page makes it seem like you’re going to get an actual beta account… kind of misleading, I think! But like you, I have plenty of new things to play around with so it’s not all bad.


Anne- don’t make me try out new things, dammit! You guys just got me using YouMail, and now Twine? But you’re right. I felt sad when I had to just sign up and wait. Here’s hoping we get in soon!

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