Tag Archives: politics

Debategraph: a wiki with a map visualization

Debategraph home.jpgThose looking at wikis … well, everyone really, should have a look at Debategraph.

The Debategraph works like a structured argument map, but it has a wiki underlying it that lets anyone contribute to the debate. The map is rendered in Flash. Clicking on globes moves through the premises, counter-premises, related arguments, and evidence. The map can be switched to a more traditional tree outline view.

Argument maps chart informal arguments so that the premises, objections, rebuttals, and evidence are clearly connected visually. In this way, argument maps can be developed collaboratively and developed over time. They take a little getting used to, but the Debategraph interface guides contributers pretty well.

The current front page debate is the crisis in Gaza, but that debate is connected to a set of other related debates that are worth exploring.

It might be a more formal tool than many of us are used to – and a more structured way of developing an argument than we’re used to – but it’s a way the ruling powers, consultants, think tanks, and other groups work out their thinking.

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Filed under Wikis, Wikis of Note

a new blog in the house

whitehousepartyArsTechnica has some early observations about the redesign (visual and content) of the Whithouse.gov website – which also includes a blog.  Of course the new adminstration is going to visually redesign the site to differentiate it from the outgoing admin.  But ArsTechnica notes that there are content changes, and a change in the rhetorical stance towards readers.  The new site encourages participation and feedback:

Participation is also a focus of the new site, and Obama’s administration will be publishing all “non-emergency legislation” for five days and soliciting feedback from the public before Obama signs it. The closest thing to a “beta” label is the request for feedback on what other features visitors would like to see at the WhiteHouse.gov site.

And this is a real kicker.  The new site has reduced the robots.txt file to a minumum.  The robots.txt file block or allow search engines to index a site so content on it can be readily found.  The old file blocked hundreds of  index spiders.  The new site seems to block … 0.  Kottke.com writes about the details.

The signal sent to the web and the blogosphere: We share.

Update: More comment on the new website at the NYT Opinionator.

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Filed under New Media, News, Weblogs