Global Sensemaking

Tools for Dialogue and Deliberation on Wicked Problems

Fork in the road for social media

From the readwrite web blog:
"Social networking is at a major fork in the road. Down one road is adding more features to a walled garden and opening up just enough, so that users seldom need to leave. Most sites are going down this yellow brick road and the prize is clearly a big one. But they may end up back in Kansas. Down the other road, lies a future of being the primary repository for your connections (aka the social graph), but with this data available via open APIs to anybody who needs it. That is a utility type model, and as with any utility, it can be hugely valuable at scale."

I think that paragraph speaks to options for a platform for collective sensemaking. My TopicSpaces project looks and feels like a walled garden since it is being crafted with all the applications it needs to stand alone in service of knowledge federation. But, slowly, it is taking on Web services such that soon it will be able to interoperate with Cohere, DebateGraph, and even Compendium (for now, through XML file import and export). Many individuals have suggested that I look at Web services in the past; their foresight has been valuable. I am imagining that this group will eventually be responsible for the creation of many specialized sensemaking tools such as Cohere, each of which will be components in a global sensemaking platform.

Views: 4

Comment by Mark Szpakowski on June 1, 2008 at 12:58
I think web services play a part here, as well as data portability and social network portability (through such as Open Social, Friend Connect, and Facebook Connect), as well as things like Yahoo Pipes and app-building tools like Dapper- which suggests that we now have plumbing available with which to connect disparate sites.

BTW, a recent note suggests that the Drupal community is well aware of this and building plugs and sockets.
Comment by Jack Park on June 1, 2008 at 18:10
Would be nice if the REST APIs of Cohere, DebateGraph, and a, say, del.icio.us were also picked up in Drupal.
Comment by Mark Szpakowski on June 3, 2008 at 1:11
I think one strategy for GS would be to consider that there's a limited set of platforms that teams build CMS and collaboration sites with:
- PHP / Drupal;
- Ruby / Rails;
- Python / Plone;
- Java / ?
- ? / ?

and that providing support for those specifically targeted at improving SenseMaking thru better platform-tools communication (eg, Drupal to Cohere) and better inter-platform collaboration (Plone site to GS tools site, or Rails site team to Drupal site team) would improve the ecosystem generally.

Could broad outlook on the Al Gore level be persuaded to see that funding such an effort would provide significant improvement in meeting environment/energy/economics challenge?
Comment by Jack Park on June 3, 2008 at 2:46
Makes sense to me. Don't forget WordPress...
Comment by Simon Buckingham Shum on June 3, 2008 at 9:08
Just posted a thought on whether it makes sense to conceive of a Sensemaking API to join things up...

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