Friday, June 4, 2010

Mind Mapping - Tinderbox, Scrivener and Neo Victorian Computing

I'm developing narrative that I hope to eventually turn out into the metaverse as an open source collaborative project/experience. It might be a hypertext, a space in Second Life, a web series, or it could become any number of things. Ultimately, I believe it's the narrative that matters and the experience of it, not the distribution method. To this end, I am exploring mind mapping software (which I admit sounds nefarious and cyberpunkish) in the form of Tinderbox and Scrivener to organize my non-linear thought paths.

I'm not sure which one I like better, the free demo for Tinderbox is limited by number of entries and features in demo mode but at this point I'm just not able to financially spring for it at $200+ for the full access. This is also partially why I downloaded Scrivener, which is only slightly more affordable by about $50. Initial use of both however as not yet swayed me one way or the other.

I am inspired by images. I have had photographs send me off into my imaginative deep end - diving into places where I step back after a frenzy of creativity and marvel at where this stuff came from. The world I am creating this codex for has origins in a lot of science and pseudo-science and multiple cultural influences. I want to keep these images, web links, PDF's and clips organized and also be able to see other ways I can mix them together to form the canon. For now I'd like it resident only on my computer, until I am ready to release, which is why I have not chosen a wiki as my main tool.

The creator of Tinderbox, Mark Bernstein has a blog which caught my eye, particularly his thread about Neo-Victorian computing and he defines it as

Built for people 
Built by people 
Crafted in workshops 
    This has a resonance for me because these seem to be the same characteristics held by the open source movement. Built by those who will use it. Created in small work groups by individuals. Democratic (as in the irregular chaos of a democracy). Inspired - people want to make things work better. An example of this is which Ton Roosendaal talked about as a community that evolved around the software with people from all over the world wanting to improve upon it.

    Thanks to Jonny Goldstein for this mind map image on Flickr.


    Janet S. said...

    I don't know if it does everything you need, but my husband really likes <a href=">The Brain</a>.

    DP said...

    Thanks Janet, I'll check this out!

    Janet S. said...

    Oh, and I meant to also say: Sounds like an awesome project. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it as it evolves.

    At the intersection of art and new media, a place where the convergence emerges.