Global Sensemaking

Tools for Dialogue and Deliberation on Wicked Problems

Bloomer: Open Source for Collective Intelligence

The Millennium Project just announced the Global Climate Change Situation Room. The project entails numerous activities, one of which is a collective intelligence platform prototype. I am calling that project Bloomer.

The project includes a Federation Server--basically an RDF-based topic map platform with plug-in agents that eventually will do things like resource harvesting and other tasks. The primary component is a portal platform, a user interface. I have chosen to use an instance of Semantic MediaWiki as the core platform, augmenting it with a variety of extensions.

One extension is an IBIS Conversation Extension; its task is to facilitate the conduct of structured conversations. One rule of engagement I plan to suggest is that nobody edits anybody elses work; if there is something that is found disagreeable, the usual "discussion page" in MediaWiki is replaced with a structured conversation page.

Another extension will be the inclusion of Cohere, which is now open source.

The most important extension, I believe, is a new tab called Explore. A wiki serves as a CMS for the collective knowledge work of a few people. The added tab means that, once you have selected a wiki page--a topic--the Explore Tab lets you open a portal into what other members of a federation have to say about that topic in other knowledge portals, be they wikis, blogs, or even twitter.

At the Bloomer site, there is a download page where a project description exists. In the source code version control, there are other documents and the beginnings of some of the components, including TopicSpaces, the federation server. What is in version control now is not functional; it is there because there is a team collaborating to bring it up. There is also our version of Cohere, with all the Open University links removed, awaiting being fully modified and adapted into our federation.

As an open source project, the Bloomer version control "trunk" is configured to accept a variety of sub-projects that can be included in the federation. For instance, we expect to see the development of extensions for Drupal, WordPress, and other popular CMS platforms. The project is generally inclusive: those who wish to participate are invited to contact me.


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Tags: millennium, open, project, sensemaking, source, tools

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