TLDR – Making Discussions Visual

Written human discussions are often an organic growing structure and they quickly become hard to read and understand for new readers. Questions, statements, loosely directed messages or immediate responses weave a dense fabric of conversation and todays tools seem to overwhelm the user with the sheer amount of information presented (Looking forward to Google’s new tool and it’s capabilities in this regard).

Srikanth Narayan has taken the challenge to build a better tool for understanding human communication on the Internet. As part of themasters program at the UC Berkeley School of Information he began working on TLDR. TLDR is a tool that tries to help the users reading through large-scale discussions on message boards, social media sites or support forums.

TLDR is an application for navigating through large-scale online discussions. The application visualizes structures and patterns within ongoing conversations to let the user browse to content of most interest. In addition to visual overviews, it also incorporates features such as thread summarization, non-linear navigation, multi-dimensional filtering, and various other features that improve the experience of participating in large-discussions.

TLDRTLDR_02

What are your thoughts about TLDR? Could a visual application be the cure for following intense discussions online or is a typographic version still easier to digest? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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  • http://www.densitydesign.org/ donato ricci

    Here you may find one of the information visualisation frontiers and TLDR is one of the best example in visualizing discursive data in an abstract way. In our research group we are working on similar issues trying to visualize both the behaviors of the discussion actors (in a abstract manner) as well as the content of their discussions (with a more typographic flavor), since we believe that the two aspects should be of equal importance. We hope to release a first version of our tool by the end of this month to start a fruitful discussion about this research area. For more information see:
    http://www.densitydesign.org/research/phd-thesis/donato-ricci/

  • http://www.densitydesign.org donato ricci

    Here you may find one of the information visualisation frontiers and TLDR is one of the best example in visualizing discursive data in an abstract way. In our research group we are working on similar issues trying to visualize both the behaviors of the discussion actors (in a abstract manner) as well as the content of their discussions (with a more typographic flavor), since we believe that the two aspects should be of equal importance. We hope to release a first version of our tool by the end of this month to start a fruitful discussion about this research area. For more information see:
    http://www.densitydesign.org/research/phd-thesis/donato-ricci/

  • http://www.naehrstoff.ch/ Peter Gassner

    I like how discussions can be generally characterized through this visualization, you quickly find trolls, see troll wars, see that sometimes there are really long and interesting discussions about a topic, etc. But I really miss words, which I find to be the most central aspect of a discussion!
    It seems to me, that it was tried to solve this by integrating the visualization on the website, but I find this concept lacking: I’m not going to look at abstract boxes and randomly click on them to see what was going on there – I hate clicking. Also hovering would not be an option for me.
    I want to see words and paragraphs, because I’m so quick at deciding whether I find something interesting or not if I see it (that’s why I hate paginated comments, too). That’s what I love about maps, they have a very high density of information by integrating text, colors, textures, lines, big and small elements, etc., but are still easy to navigate. Not that a discussion has to be visualized to look like a map, I’m just saying that I’d love to see that kind of virtuosity and density in handling words and graphics. It should also make more use of interactivity, e.g. with zoom, animation or time-based interactions. (It’s not on paper).

  • http://www.naehrstoff.ch Peter Gassner

    I like how discussions can be generally characterized through this visualization, you quickly find trolls, see troll wars, see that sometimes there are really long and interesting discussions about a topic, etc. But I really miss words, which I find to be the most central aspect of a discussion!
    It seems to me, that it was tried to solve this by integrating the visualization on the website, but I find this concept lacking: I’m not going to look at abstract boxes and randomly click on them to see what was going on there – I hate clicking. Also hovering would not be an option for me.
    I want to see words and paragraphs, because I’m so quick at deciding whether I find something interesting or not if I see it (that’s why I hate paginated comments, too). That’s what I love about maps, they have a very high density of information by integrating text, colors, textures, lines, big and small elements, etc., but are still easy to navigate. Not that a discussion has to be visualized to look like a map, I’m just saying that I’d love to see that kind of virtuosity and density in handling words and graphics. It should also make more use of interactivity, e.g. with zoom, animation or time-based interactions. (It’s not on paper).

  • http://www.epicsyst.com/ Ossama

    Dear Sir,

    I am sending you links on the newly expected Trend Compass which is still in our Lab.

    http://www.epicsyst.com/test/v2/babyboomers/

    http://www.epicsyst.com/test/v2/bank-trx/

    http://www.epicsyst.com/test/v2/advertising/

    I hope you could evaluate it and give me your comments. So many ideas are there.

    You can test the software by uploading data on our website and getting the corresponding Flash charts.This is for a limited number of users. You can also download a trial version. It has a feature to export EXE,PPS,HTML and AVI files. The most impressive is the AVI since you can record Audio/Video for the charts you create.

    http://epicsyst.com/trendcompass/FreeVersion/TrendCompassv1.2_DotNet.zip

    Please feel Free to contact me. I will be glad to help you.

    Regards.

    Ossama Hamed
    trend@epicsyst.com
    Trend Compass Team
    Epic Systems
    http://www.epicsyst.com

  • http://www.epicsyst.com Ossama

    Dear Sir,

    I am sending you links on the newly expected Trend Compass which is still in our Lab.

    http://www.epicsyst.com/test/v2/babyboomers/

    http://www.epicsyst.com/test/v2/bank-trx/

    http://www.epicsyst.com/test/v2/advertising/

    I hope you could evaluate it and give me your comments. So many ideas are there.

    You can test the software by uploading data on our website and getting the corresponding Flash charts.This is for a limited number of users. You can also download a trial version. It has a feature to export EXE,PPS,HTML and AVI files. The most impressive is the AVI since you can record Audio/Video for the charts you create.

    http://epicsyst.com/trendcompass/FreeVersion/TrendCompassv1.2_DotNet.zip

    Please feel Free to contact me. I will be glad to help you.

    Regards.

    Ossama Hamed
    trend@epicsyst.com
    Trend Compass Team
    Epic Systems
    http://www.epicsyst.com