Global Sensemaking

Tools for Dialogue and Deliberation on Wicked Problems

Making genuine many-to-many discussion a realistic possibility: beta testers needed

Hello everyone,

My colleague Barbara Nowacka was recently recommended to this network by David Price as a place where we might be able to find people interested in trying out our web app yoomoot.com

This is what we're all about:

For too long the Web's potential as a place of genuine mass communication has been wasted. On popular forums, mailing lists and comment threads, the virtual crowd's utterances are immediately submerged in a sea of undifferentiated text. If everyone speaks, no-one hears.

yoomoot changes this by creating a new kind of discussion space where large discussions can be browsed through and digested much more rapidly and logically than on standard sites. By doing this yoomoot makes it possible, for the first time in history, to have a coherent conversation between thousands of people. We hope this will eventually revolutionize the way society solves problems and makes decisions.

So, anyone interested in taking a look? Give me an email address and I'll send you an invite to the private beta site.

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Could you please send an invitation to rqparks@gmail.com
Thanks,
Bob
on its way
I'd be interested in seeing this project. Please e-mail wbt@cs.cmu.edu, and thanks!
Thanks! We're just finishing off some important changes. I'll invite you as soon as we're done.
I'd like to get a test invitation.
Thanks,
Ralf
groetker@explorat.de
Thanks, I'll invite you as soon as we're ready for the next rollout
I'd be interested too.
david.friedman@bridgewellpartners.com
Great to hear – I'll contact you when we're ready
Could you please send an invitation to pelfut@gmail.com
Thanks,
Sime
Nicolas,
I went to yoomoot.com which led me to your blog at yoomoot.soup.io then arts technica > XML Press > livetechdocs > justwriteclick > booki . Thanks for the trip.
I'd like to get in on yoomoot waiting list also.
thanks
cknicker@samepageresults.com
I am inside yoomoot and just made my first activity there, which consisted of asking a question about deleting "moots" (which, at the moment, is for me ambiguous--I haven't read the entire documentation yet, so, a moot could be an individual post or the whole conversation). I had a visible "delete" control. I'm inclined to think that's dangerous.

Still, hats off to the yoomoot folks for a decent user interface.

One comment, coming from one who has been using the tools of dialogue mapping for several years now: yoomoot does not offer pro or con argument node types. Instead, they offer voting up, down, or sideways. I'll state my thoughts here since I think this sort of meta-level conversation needs to occur in all sensemaking communities.

My view is this: thumbs down does not convey useful information other than the fact that someone is being grumpy and doesn't agree. No useful information there. A con argument other than "I disagree" grants the expectation that the participant will describe in useful ways what the nature of the disagreement is.

For the moment, I do not think that yoomoot blocks the ability to disagree in a meaningful way: it appears that one can contribute an answer or question node that somehow articulates the nature of the disagreement. However...
Structure in structured discourse provides context through node types and link types, which aids in the analysis of the conversation. If questions and answers are the only node types, then analytical engines must resort to text analysis, NLP, linguistics, etc, to tease arguments out of a conversation.

Thumbs up, however, is useful. Using a thumbs up vote means I don't have to add a redundant node to the conversation or add a low-on-the-information-scale "I agree" pro node. But, it masks my ability to say "I agree because..." where what follows the "because" might actually be useful information.

Final point: there is an ongoing effort to create a common format that allows structured conversations to be shared among the tools that facilitate those conversations. For the moment, the format is based on a subset of Compendium's dtd, which means that these node types: map, question, answer, pro, and con are supported. I would like to think that platforms like yoomoot will eventually be able to join into a federation of structured conversations.
Thanks for taking the time to give feedback Jack. Very interesting given your own experience.

I do see the advantage of machine-readable conversations, for the sake of the federated conversations you mention, but I'd rather put analysis by humans first. It's difficult to fit yoomoot into the pro/con node structure because on yoomoot you express a meaningful disagreement by questioning something and then adding your own answer. But questions themselves are never inherently "pro" or "con".

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