rising_moon: (Default)
[personal profile] rising_moon
There's a SMOP here somewhere.

I've been thinking for a while about the challenges -- and potentials -- of multithreaded conversation.

Recent LJ upheaval, at least in the SCA communities, has illustrated that several nodes of conversation can be active and engaged, but over time tend to favor (with people-energy and bandwidth) the incendiary over the moderate, whether the hot topics are productive or not.

LJ encourages multithreaded conversation -- however, the conversations are complicated by friends-locks and -lists. I don't read SCA_east, but I hear about it. In all likelihood, there are several recursive conversations about topics introduced there, all over LJ.

Bear with me... we're talking about threading per se, not a particular topic in SCA_east.

LJ is also notable in that it encourages Memes. I mean "meme" in the historical sense: a practice repeated within a culture. [livejournal.com profile] alexx_kay summarized a while back that any particular "lj meme" like a poll or list of favorites is not a meme; rather, the practice of introducing a poll or list is a meme. My buddy did it, now I repeat it. Meme.

I've also noted (led by experts in the field) that the foundation of Collective Intelligence being laid on the internets in the form of Wikipedia, Craigslist, Y! Forum, and basically any open-source content aggregation system, is doing quite well providing first-level information on a wide range of topics.

These systems encourage online community-building and information-sharing. They permit more-or-less single-threaded commentary on limited topics to varying depths: deep for Wikipedia (check the History tab on the Davis Square article) and shallow for Craigslist, for example.

Layer on top of these notions (recursive multithreading, memes, obsessive engagement, community-building) and Filter in the question raised in a bunch of articles I've read recently which, sifted, seem to call for a global/international idea collection, aggregation, ranking, and reporting system to help Solve the World's Problems(TM). See:So I've been wondering. If a global database of ideas, and the threaded commentary that builds and stretches the ideas, will help save the world, then:

The system would need thread-node analytics and realtime alerts to point commenters to an existing topic and summarize the node state. The system would need disk space, translators, and a whole lot of other things to work right, but what's really missing, the SMOP (thank you again, [livejournal.com profile] justjanus) is the analytics: how to make sense of the inpouring ocean of data.

What else? What are the challenges?

Is this kind of thing even possible? I've seen the fury and fire generated by a dumbass LJ post.

Can we harness it and use the fire for good?
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rising_moon: (Default)

February 2009

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