Sunday, June 10, 2007

Compendium: new media software

What I want is for people to approach Compendium like a new media tool, rather than as "business" software targeted at a particular application. In fact there are many applications for it as a piece of software. But they don't define it. What it is, is a tool for making knowledge/concept/idea maps whose elements can appear in many different maps. That kind of representation is the real point, and what you can do with it. A different kind of multidimensional representation than other tools let you make. What you use those representations for, the world(s) they fit in, can vary widely.

There are other tools in the category I'd like for Compendium to be considered in. I don't think its category is argument mapping or concept mapping, although those are certainly applications for it. It's more of a creative software, like PhotoShop, GarageBand, Windows MovieMaker, Camtasia, iMovie, FinalCut, even PowerPoint or Word. None of those packages are about creating certain kinds of outcomes, unless you define the artifacts you can make with them as the outcomes. Similarly none of them promise (if they're honest) that just by virtue of using the tool you'll be able to produce a well-crafted artifact. What they do promise is that they'll provide the resources you need to hitch to your own creativity, skill, and knowledge, and that they will let you do things that expand your reach. If you know what you want to express and how you want to express it, these tools will help get you there and do it with the speed, quality, depth and density of pallette you need.

And by the way, this is the transliteration of Compendium in Hindi: कोम्पेंदियम

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