Add your essay to the mesh, and ThoughtMesh gives you a traditional navigation menu plus a tag cloud that enables nonlinear access to text excerpts. You can navigate across excerpts both within the original essay and from related essays distributed across the mesh.
So let's say you are reading an essay on Modern art. You can pick a single word out of that essay's tag cloud- -say Picasso- -and view a list of all the sections from that essay that relate to Picasso. Or you can view a list of sections of other articles tagged with Picasso, and jump right to one of those sections. You can also combine tags to narrow your search, such as Picasso + Cubism + 1900.
As an author, you can choose to post your essay in a central repository hosted by the Vectors program at USC, the sponsor of this project. Or you can self-archive your essay on your own Web site. [snip]
Innovative Search Options
- Use tags to find text blocks within the current article
- Use tags to find related blocks in outside articles
- Use search-as-you-type lookup to find words in current article
Expandable Navigation Menu
- Offers more traditional navigation
- Breaks long essays into easy-to-read screen-sized chunks
- Can be used interchangeable with tag-based navigation
Automated Tag and HTML Generation
- Paste in your essay sections and easy-to-use software generates a ThoughtMeshed version
- Software can auto-generate tags for each text block
- Or author can assign custom tags
- Overall tag cloud gives quick sense of article's themes
Meshes (Features For Future Releases)
- Users can view a map of where the current article fits in the larger mesh.
- Publications and groups of authors can define and administrate their own meshes.
- Users can choose only lexias from current mesh, or from all meshes
What's a tag cloud?
A bunch of keywords in a box. Click on one to see text excerpts related to that theme, or click on several to see excerpts tagged with all of those keywords.
What's a lexia?
A text excerpt from a longer essay or Web site--usually a couple of paragraphs. Lots of blogs and newspapers have tag clouds. How is ThoughtMesh different?Most of these sites are data-base driven collections of text blocks run off a single server. ThoughtMesh's tag registry (or mesh) can connect articles on different servers across the Internet.
Is this the "Semantic Web"?
Yes and no. Like the long-term vision of the Semantic Web, ThoughtMesh treats every page on the Web as a potential "database record" to be searched. Unlike the conventional XML-powered vision of the Semantic Web, however, ThoughtMesh's data are only minimally structured in the page itself; instead, a registry of tags housed on a remote host serves to connect all the individual pages. But it's still a model of distributed publication, since in principle the same pages can be navigated via independently operated registries.
So it's like del.icio.us?
Sort of. Del.icio.us's global folksonomy of tags is great, but it only indexes entire pages, which is less efficient for finding relevant passages in long academic papers. ThoughtMesh helps trace thematic connections between particular sections of online essays. And ThoughtMesh's tags (and the meshes that connect them) are determined (or at least validated) by the authors of the pages.
Is this "Web 2.0"?
ThoughtMesh exploits participatory media, remote scripting, and lateral navigation. So yeah, you can call it that.
How to Navigate Essays[http://thoughtmesh.net/media/thoughtmesh_preview_alpha.mov]
How to Tag an Essay[http://thoughtmesh.net/media/thoughtmesh_how_to_add.mov]
Conceptual architect, client-side designer, and client-side engineer
Designer and server-side engineer
Telamon.js author and remote scripting contributor
ThoughtMesh uses Mehta's Tagline software
/ ThoughtMesh" Tag Your Writing. Join the conversation / Jon Ippolito & Craig Dietrich / Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular / Volume 3 Issue 1, Fall 2007 /
/ New Criteria for New Media / New Media Department, University of Maine / Promotion and Tenure Guidelines Addendum: Rationale for Redefined Criteria / Version 2.2, January 2007 /
ABSTRACT: An argument for redefining promotion and tenure criteria for faculty in new media departments of today's universities.
ThoughtMesh Author's Statement
/ New Age Navigation: Innovative Information Interfaces for Electronic Journals / Gerry McKiernan / The Serials Librarian, Vol. 45(2) / 87-123 / 2003 / DOI: 10.1300/J123v45n02_06 /
ABSTRACT. While it is typical for electronic journals to offer conventional search features similar to those provided by electronic databases, a select number of e-journals have also made available higher-level access options as well. In this article, we review several novel technologies and implementations that creatively exploit the inherent potential of the digital environment to further facilitate use of e-collections.We conclude with speculation on the functionalities of a next-generation e-journal interface that are likely to emerge in the near future.