[MG] Votespace and social space visualizations (was Talk bubbles)

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Fri May 6 06:10:32 EDT 2011

Alexander Praetorius wrote:
> >> FIRST - (The Ugly Abbreviations) <<
> I think a very very important thing is to get rid of the ugly
> abbreviations (Bo. No. Rh. Aq. Pa. .....) ... Right now, the
> abbreviations are absolutely meaningless. A person who's looking at
> the visualization doesn't know what kind of information to
> expect. Why would I want to navigate through the branches? What am I
> searching for?  Maybe I'm searching for a branch where I could have
> more impact if I follow that branch? ...what's
> (Bo. No. Rh. Aq. Pa...) all about?
I read your other suggestions too, and looked at your mockups:
I think your aim is top-down navigation in a broad issue space.  By
contrast, Thomas and I are aiming to show interpersonal relations in
relatively narrow spaces.  I agree that both approaches are needed,
and I think we can accomodate both as separate "maps" in the theatre
app.  In fact, we allow any number of maps and feeds there, and the
users is free to combine them.

The abbreviated usernames (mnemonics) are a technique for visualizing
individual people.  They're only a detail.  If we don't use mnemonics
then we must use something else, but I feel the overall visualization
is a good one:

Within 2 seconds of looking a it, a user knows that PEOPLE are TALKING
in SOCIETY to a PURPOSE.  That's the crucial test I think, and I think
this visualization passes it with room to spare.  Kudos to Thomas.
This is largely his design.  The main lines were his original ideas or
(in the case of talk bubbles) followed from his promptings.  If it
weren't for Thomas, I think we'd be stuck with an Ajax-ified version
of this, which fails the 2 second test:

Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528

Originally posted to the mailing list of the Metagovernment Project:

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