The Dayton Experiment emerged. Organically. It started with one page. Then another. Then links between pages. Then a clustering of concepts. Over 450 pages. A wild labyrinth that was largely inaccessible to others.
It was then that the story arc emerged. A tale that could shared. A tale I had told parts of to others.
That story arc provided connections to the concepts. It was from those doorways that I formed pathways, drawing concepts from the original labyrinth, but what I now came to understand was actually a nursery.
I carefully cultivated those pathways so that visitors would not get lost. Eventually building a garden of 95 interconnected concepts that could be understood in a single visualization.
I then translated the story and the garden into a text document so that it could eventually manifest as a printed book for those who found the idea of the wiki too unfamiliar. In this format, the story turned out to 98 pages. The Garden was 140 pages. All together, a book of 50,000 words.
Ward and I are now exploring what might happen if multiple people embarked on a journey of meaning-making. How quickly can a nursery be created? Will a story arc appear? Can you build a garden from the nursery - a Meaning Matrix - for the story that might eventually manifest not only on the web, but, perhaps also on the printed page?
We don't know. This is an experiment that is just beginning. But that is why we found The Smallest Artifact so intriguing.
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