I'm not sure how this would be best architected, but a few insights are clear to me now after nearly 10 years of increasing online collaboration:
  1. There ain't no getting away from collaborative tools online of increasing variety and annoyance!
  2. The friction push of TheBrain onto unsuspecting colleagues is high compared to the uptake pull the majority of other linear collaborative platforms enjoy (Dropbox, Evernote, Basecamp, BusinessOne etc).
  3. The resultant observation of the megabrain I have nurtured still never fails to amaze over the 20 years creation of what is effectively a single massively integrated dataset. Perhaps that initial reaction is part of the issue, establishing perceived barriers to adoption.
In parallel to the above, my team is currently in a procurement discussion for our online database / repository of a significant amount of curated technical data across many domains. We have the budget for a full TeamBrain deployment with local server option but the residual barrier to adoption appears to be the combination of (perhaps perceived) factors:
  • data isolation / silo
  • lack of initial interface logic (blank plex syndrome)
  • the limitations of complex relational database queries. I've posted recommendations for boolean queries in years gone by, which may be more appropriate in TB9
There is practically no-one I know who doesn't use Dropbox personally or professionally. Pretty much the same for Google tools (drive, email). Harlan, last time we met you shared some of your ideas of increasing third party tool integration and the possibility of using API interfaces. I can see TB9 is laying strong foundations for this and I can't stress strongly enough how much this could help new user adoption, not only as a bottom line boost for our favorite software team, but as an aid to allow existing TB users to create robust adoption in their circles.

I am now spending a significant percentage of braintime MANUALLY synchronizing data between my collaborative teams using various online tools and my own megabrain. I have separate identical copies of files in dropbox, copies in individual thoughts with the dropbox link also added. Thoughts are tagged with GoogleDoc, Dropbox, Basecamp or other tags for identification which is associated with a semi-systematic updating of files. I'm probably operating at around 30% efficiency on this activity, not having time to individually capture every new file in external collaborative locations. Perhaps some utilization of the old spider function needs to be resurrected, but applied not only to local directories but online repositories behind username accesses.

This issue is only going to increase in necessity and urgency in my view and is now less of a feature request but now a core system necessity. For the last 20 years of using TB we've been able to ignore it or kludge manual solutions to this issue. Now we're out of time. The balance of information flow in closed collaborative ecosystems is now as great as my own personal inputs into TB and the relevance of both is equal; however, the information integration remains at the opposite ends of the scale for these two information sources.

I know there have been several comments reflecting these sorts of integration requests and that the team is working on it, the very existence of TB9 is the foundation for this. Just throwing some more light on the matter.


TB8022 32bit
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Brain user since 1997

Thank you for the honest feedback.  I'll be sure to share this with the entire team.  We do have feature requests that are being reviewed that will address several of the issues you've mentioned:

A notes view (discussed on other threads) that displays content in a much more, basic EverNote style - to address your interface logic concern.
Enhanced sharing/access control settings - to address "data isolation"
And importing features are still being reviewed and discussed which could/would address the database queries.

There's still more to come in v9 - but again, I appreciate hearing your thoughts on it's progress and direction.


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