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Some of you may know part of this story: I've hit some hard times recently.

Over the last few months, I've suffered a series of huge financial setbacks. Around October, He lost about 1/2 of his yearly income, then lost his lease in November, and finally our van broke down, which was serving as kind of a back-up home. What luck, huh?

Because of this, Im trying to raise money to get it fixed. :)

The outpouring of support, so far, has been humbling, and I feel deep gratitude. We still have a little ways to go. So, I'm reaching a little deeper into my networks to ask for support.

It would also be deeply appreciated if you can +1 and share my story with you communities and social networks.

Thanks for taking the time to read my request. That alone means a lot to me! <3

https://www.gofundme.com/savethe-beast

Hi guys, been over a year since last blog post, just curious if you're still developing metamaps? so its worth promoting to others.

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Networks/Graphs - The emerging general metaphor
A fascinating history of visualizations, and new forms of art

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Taking a moment here for collective acknowledgement of the awesome cumulative knowledge base that continues to grow on Metamaps platform today!

At nearly 40,000 topics now entered into our database, well, we're a bit shy of the total volume of wikipedia (5 million arts!?) but we've got great coverage in some really cool domains of emerging peer-to-peer solutionism and socio-cultural change.

Interested in open business models (http://metamaps.cc/topics/26163) or knowledge integration (http://metamaps.cc/topics/24868)? Yeah, we got some :)

I was just working on a new map just now to outline the basic tenets and reference points of a hypothetical P2P economic system and lo, at least half of the topics I sought to include were already alive and well in our system, many with nice added detail like descriptions, links, and of course a set of pre-existing connections to related content on other maps. That's pretty darn cool - and darn pretty too.

By importing a couple of existing topics and looking at where else they are used, I discovered a nice pre-existing map that addresses the subject.

It's great to see this much shared value coming together in a really unique and compelling way, all built by an informal network of collaborators on an open source platform...and all continuing to evolve. Sometimes you forget to stop to re-notice these things and be glad for it, be gratified by it, be grateful for all the input thus far.

If you haven't done so lately, I highly encourage a browse over to the recently active maps, and a quick dip into anything there that catches your eye. Maybe throw out a few new topics of your own while you're at it eh? The graph willy only grow if we continues to feeeed it wholesome knowledge and wisdom, spiced up with a bit of collaborative fun and adventure....

Speaking of which, did you know there's a cool little map-based game we designed for two or more players to have fun adding useful new connections into the system? It's called Verge and the deets are here: http://metamaps.cc/maps/489

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Metamaps Feedback Forum
Send in your suggestions!

Have you submitted a suggestion to our feedback forum yet? You can submit your own ideas, or vote on those submitted by others. (25 vote limit, but you can change the 25 at any time)

Here is where to go:
http://support.metamaps.cc/forums/262715-general/filters/top

You can log in with your metamaps account, or FB/G+ too.
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Information Overload, Managing Complexity

I created a metamap, which kind of turned out as a user experience test. It includes ~ 500 topics and connections, all visible on the map, constructed collaboratively, but primarily by myself. Here's what I found:

 - Performance for me was great, plenty to spare.

 - A cognitive tax. The larger map the more stressful the experience becomes, new connections between content takes longer. But I did adapt providing I was active.

- Overwhelming for new collaborators. Also, if I haven't used the map in a while and return to it, it takes some take to get back to the level of understanding of where I was.

- Difficult to navigate and change. Increasingly so with scale of distance and complexity- things getting in the way.

- Search could be improved. This relates to memory 'where did I put that topic what I want to connect to?'. Sure search panel will find, but then opens up in it's own map, which is a little annoying.

Quick Solutions

I understand that most of these issues can be solved simply by adapting my use to the tools the system provides, by branching off collections of topics into their own subtopic metamaps. And by arranging topics into improved structures, which I did a few times. 

Alternative view and Suggestions

But before I do that, I would just like to state some of my reasons for why I'm hesitant to do this, and also some related ideas thrown in while I'm at it:

- I do not know in advance what the subtopics are going to be, or which topics will belong to them. These emerge overtime, and once they do it would be nice if there was an easy (or automatic suggestion) to group related content into it's own map. (and not just the grouping of topics that have line-connections between them)

- It helps to have an overview effect of all the topics when making sense of map and making connections. However if all the topics are visible at once it's overwhelming, but also if I create sub maps and link them within master map, I lose this overview ability of seeing how everything connects in detail. I think a solution could be the ability to expand or hide the topics of a sub map into the master map view. Instead of having to toggle between open tabs and windows, which still doesn't achieve the same result. 

- Creating sub maps visibly breaks the connections between the topics of the master map and the sub map. I would like the ability to expand (see above) and view connections between all connected maps. I would also like the connections of master map topics to be retained and point to the sub map when it is closed. Indicating topics are connected to other topics within that map. 

- Here's a radical (as in probably involves much work) idea. The ability to peak inside sub maps (maps linked as topic on master map) by mouse over. Like a magnifying glass that peaks inside a portal, just to get a general impression of what is inside, or it's stats / activity. 

- Map Summary. A more prominent guide to understanding a map and it's development. This could be a simple text panel summarising the maps contents and it's ongoing development, perhaps including statistics, i.e. a heat map. A summary of the maps complex information and a story of it's evolution, a thin-slice interface. http://www.amazon.com/Blink-Power-Thinking-Without/dp/0316010669

- Perhaps enable browser find, ctrl + f, to find topics quickly. 

- Notification for size of map. I don't think you need to restrict a map size, but a warning may help, something like 'more topics beyond this number may be inaccessible on mobile devices' or whatever, 'here's how to groups similar topics and simplify the scale of this map'. If people don't do this, it may only a matter of time before they give up.

Conclusion

So I'm suggesting the need to overcome the needlessly complicated functionality and atomising silo structure of individual maps. So we can create connections and networks more fluently, through seamless modularisation and connectivity, to create a less complicated framework of complexity. Making maps easier to use and understand, while improving collaboration.  There, should be easy enough :)
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Do you guys plan to keep developing? 

I noticed my links don't work on map and no blog update in a while.

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fuel #4thecommons  

As part of the value accounting process for recent and ongoing work on the realeconomylab.org project, we've demarcated a percentage of receipts to pledge towards commons resources outside of our immediate network. Where should it go? Like to hear your ideas.

At this point we've got a couple of hundred USD to deploy. Would be great to support projects / assets which are a meaningful part of our ecosystem here in the wider Metamaps community. Open source technology, freely accessible infrastructure, momentous art, worthy projects and peoples on the cutting edge...

I'd like to get your input, and moreover - to start to pitch this meme more widely! 4%(+) #4thecommons in all manner of collaborative works and webs, an important update and supplement to the now well-recognized "1% for the planet" campaign.

Metamaps seems like a great place to step up the acknowledgement of greater interconnectedness for all striving, creative beings :)

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Any ideas, metamappers?

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A new Metamaps peer production!

I've been working closely with +Ishan Shapiro and others from our network to design, test, and strategize a solution set for the Real Economy Lab project launched recently in coordination with +New Economics Foundation and Transition Network of the UK.

Below is the beta website we've put together with some of our insights and methods, including an embedded metamap topic view. In addition, you'll notice a Kumu.io map which gives a nicely interactive graph viz of some of the data we're starting to work with.

This project has the potential to grow into a large coordinated development effort to build and customize a full-featured community knowledge graph and sense-making environment for this domain. Right now, we're exploring what's technically possible and practically manageable in terms of a feature set and experience design. Got ideas? Input, feedback, suggestions, references all welcome!

We'll follow up with more news and notes here as plans and progress are made. For now, I hope this inspires additional exploratory mapping along these lines! You'll find a bunch of related content already on the metamaps platform. Try searching "REL" to begin. Please create and contribute thoughtfully :)
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