I want: Signtific Lab

I want to tell you about last night’s Signtific Lab game thing developed by the Institute For The Future futures research group.


@genzaichi I think I need some serious mindmaps and trees to understand #signtific

@publichistorian I suspect it’s a self-writing mindmap… #signtificgenzaichi

The Background:

A scenario was released into the wild about a fortnight ago:

Starting last night, and only for a day or so, you can respond to this scenario.

From this central node you can branch off in either a positive or a negative direction. In Signtific Lab parlance, each node you add is a card. After the initial bifurcation (see, I know some Science!) you can respond to each card in 4 different flavours: “No way!” (antagonism); “Yes! And…” (momentum); “Yes! But…” (adaptation) and “Hmmm…” (investigation).

You can play as many different cards as you want as a response to any other card contributed by anyone in the lab and you’re encouraged to contribute any idea you can imagine that might be possible (more information about the game mechanism here if you’re interested).

Here’s the thing: it’s a really nice tool for riffing off and building on ideas.

You’re equipped with 140 characters to post any given idea. Is there a Twitter feed of ideas? I’m not sure, but the character limit is great at a) removing the barrier of feeling you have to construct beautiful prose b) makes you focus on the key idea and c) makes you focus on only one idea per card/node. And that’s what you need for a mind map, right?

You have a few other tools to help you:

  • A favourite-ing button
  • A naked RSS feed of ideas as they are generated
  • A naked RSS feed of ideas the moderators have selected as being super-interesting
  • A leaderboard, so you can see who is contributing how much. (though there’s no measure of quality!) :)
  • And a dashboard so you can see what you have favourite-ed, what you have contributed and how this breaks down into the different flavours of thinking mentioned earlier.

Everything (cards, responses to cards, feed items, user profiles etc) is linked. In the hypertext sense, as well as all having been born from the same starting scenario.

Such a simplecomplex thing that fed my brain in a way that suited it perfectly! I always have been better at responding to things than I have been at just generating ideas out of the ether. Link. And. Shift.

My Wants:

  1. After this thought experiment has played out, I want to be able to see the resulting mind-map.
  2. I’ve recently started using mind-mapping tools to brainstorm ideas for projects. I want a tool like signtific lab to let me do this collaboratively.
  3. After that all I need is the hive of lab assistants to react to/with/against!