mctrexler
Climate Watson is our climate change knowledge management system Brain.  It's pretty large at 12 GB and 40,000 thoughts, and it's not a public Brain (it really can't be for IP reasons).  We've been thinking for some time about creating a publicly accessible version, and potentially a subscription-based version.

There's an enormous amount of information on the web when it comes to climate change.  A dozen sites you can go to and be pointed to hundreds of headlines every day.  So the question is what's the niche for a simple public climate Brain?

We've just come out with our public CliMit Insights Brain http://goo.gl/PGmgBx  We will update it periodically with new information, and link to popular news stories.  But what we think makes it different is that we not only try to interpret the story, but we then link to other publications and stories that help the reader better understand the issue (without sharing so much information or documents that IP becomes a problem). So we're not trying to substitute for a portal to hundreds of headlines.  We're picking a few headlines and topics and trying to bring readers up to speed on them. 

We've designed CliMit Insights so it should work well on the ioS platform (we've kept it simple for iphone viewing), as well as on Web-Brain or on a desktop. 

We would very much welcome thoughts, insight, and feedback and whether CliMit Insights is useful, and whether it takes proper advantage of what the Brain technology can offer.  Eventually we want to figure out whether an expanded version of something like this could be pitched as a low-cost subscription service.

Thanks, Mark

Quote
mctrexler
I've been made aware of a problem in the Brain, which turns out to be due to the fact that I had the home thought labelled as "private."   Apologies for that!  It shouldn't be a problem now.  If you see anything else strange please let me know. 

There are some other oddities - some missing thought icons - that I'll address in the Issues forum. 

Mark
Quote
zenrain
I've been meaning to reply to this for a while. 
I think my favorite area is c. What's new in the puzzle? This is the current events area, and I think it should be pinned. I'm a little unsure of the name, it's not immediately apparent. I know you are going with a jigsaw theme, but for someone opening the brain for the first time, this isn't immediately apparent.

Second, the main information area is sort of lumped in with the how to thoughts (it's number 4 in the list). I would look at seeing if it's possible to make it more obvious that it's the top hierarchy of the "meat and potatoes" area. I know it's pinned, but once again, for someone unfamiliar with the format, it's not intuitive. 

Great database with lots of good information and resource recommendations. [smile]

Edit: Apparently I like the word apparent.
macOS 10.12.3
TheBrain 9.0.157
Quote
mctrexler
Zenrain, thanks a lot for the feedback.  Will make modifications to try and address those issues.

Mark
Quote
mctrexler
We've continued to add to the CliMit Insights Brain - any other feedback?

A specific question I would appreciate help with.  One of the challenges seems to be to get people to have the patience to "expand" the thought icons for the first time in webbrain (even though we emphasize that step in the help notes).  It seems to take up to a couple of seconds,which in today's world is an eternity.  But I don't know if it has anything to do with our internet connection.  Could some of you take a look at the Brain and "open" some of the thought icons, and let me know how long it takes to open a particular thought icon for the first time? 

http://goo.gl/PGmgBx

Thanks for your help!

Mark
Quote
zenrain
Wow, haven't been back since my last comments, and after revisiting I think the thought titles give me a better idea of what they are. Makes it easier to use.

As far as the images, it's fairly instantaneous that it expands to the thumbnail view, then takes ~3 seconds for full expansion. This would lead me to believe that the thumbnail view is the full size picture at first, and if I wasn't familiar with WebBrain, not wait for the full expansion of the image.
macOS 10.12.3
TheBrain 9.0.157
Quote
RBrubaker
Subject matter aside, the composition and responsiveness of the brain were excellent.
Quote
mctrexler
If you're a glutton for Brain punishment I've attached our new Beta Users guide to the (Brain) Climate Web.  Comments and Beta Users welcome! 

markpdf Beta User Guidance Jan 31.pdf     
Quote
ksand
This is really easy to navigate, how are you thinking a subscription based version would work, would you let people choose what topics they want access to and then a brain with those specific topics would need to be created and maintained for each individual subscriber or is there a way to allow access to only certain parts of the brain controlled by individual login??Excuse my naivety if there is a logical answer to this question, I have only known about theBrain for  a few weeks.

Quote
mctrexler
ksand,

Thanks for the note.  We're grappling with those very questions.  The software doesn't allow the kind of "directed access" you're describing, so that isn't an option right now.  And the entire package is so large that it is frightening to people (and distracting).  Suggesting that we need to create mini-brains that are fit for purpose.  Which of course starts to defeat the whole point of having a Climate Brain.  So it's a real challenge.

Mark
Quote
mctrexler
We've been getting very useful insights into our Climate Web Brain from Beta Users and others, and have thought a lot more about how TheBrain software can be used as an information product and service.  You may find this memo of interest regardless of whether you're interested in climate change, and especially if you've thought about using the Brain in ways that involve using it as an information product or service. If you do dig through the analysis your thoughts and ideas are welcome!

Markdoc Options for Structuring Climate Web Access_old word.doc     

PS. It should be possible to upload documents in the current Word format (docx)!
Quote
mctrexler
We've now identified three specific "products" related to our Climate Web. They are described in this 3-page document.  Next in line is 1-page sales slips for each.  But each is actually very dependent on what you can and can't do with Webbrain, and how to get around those limitations, so some of you might have insights we should be incorporating into our thinking.  If you're inclined to take a look would welcome your thoughts.

Thanks,

Mark
Quote
DrBop
Hi Mark,

A few very quick knee-jerk reactions.

1) Thanks for sharing the site, your documents, and the journey behind this effort. Very helpful.

2) Your effort points out how much explanation is required to make the Brain accessible for a first-time casual user. To that end, I believe your "Brain Help" section was very well done.

3) Related to #2, I wonder if it would be helpful to your effort to drop all the Brain-specific related terminology and just help visitors navigate your information. To wit, the starting page is described as "HOME THOUGHT." And help for navigating the site is termed, "Brain Help." I wonder if some visitors wonder whether they need help with their brain? 

The overarching point: Medium and message are intertwined here, and I am suggesting that is both unnecessary and not helpful to site users not familiar with TheBrain. 

As an analog, I don't visit other sites to be offered Help with Ruby on Rails, or ColdFusion Markup Language Help.  

Might a more generalized (straightforward) approach, e.g., Home or even Start Here (for the home thought), and How to Use This Site (for the Brain Help), be more effective?  That's a genuine question to explore. 

In the Help section, you can still explain that the underlying display engine for the site is a tool called TheBrain, "and here's how to navigate the site most effectively," or something to that effect, using the great explanations you have already crafted.

Food for, ah, thought. So to speak.

The main point: Remove as many potential points of confusion, as many unnecessary and unfamiliar (and therefore distracting) terms related to the tool's specific interface and branding. That way you keep the visitor's attention directed to a) navigating your site optimally, and b) most importantly, focusing on your content.

Hope that is helpful. 

Don
Quote
mctrexler
Don, thanks for these suggestions.  They've all been implemented.  And I'm in the process of redoing the various videos we've prepared so will get reflected in there as well very shortly. 

Thanks!

Mark
Quote
mctrexler
FYI, the full Climate Web is now open access at http://www.theclimateweb.com   .  We've made a lot of changes to improve accessibility. As far as I know it is BY FAR the largest effort to date to use TheBrain to explore a specific topic, at least in the public domain. We're closing in on 100,000 links. 

Feedback and suggestions always welcome! 

Mark
Quote

Newsletter Signup  Newsletter Signup        Visit TheBrain Blog   Visit TheBrain Blog       Follow us on Twitter   Follow Us       Like Us on Facebook   Like Us         Circle Us on Google+  Circle Us         Watch Us on Youtube  Watch Us       

TheBrain Mind Map & Mindmapping Software     Download TheBrain Mind Mapping Software