Dream Projects

I’m starting this entry to have a place to post various ideas that I’ve had over the years and been excited about but lacked the skills necessary to bring them to fruition. The list will be (very) short to begin with but hopefully I will remember to add things here as I think of them.

3D Forum | Comments System
When I browse forums online, very few of them handle dialogue trees very well and spatial context is always lost when someone is replying to a much earlier comment or quoting someone else.

My idea has been to take full advantage of CSS3 3D Transforms, Silverlight 5, WebGL or any other 3D web technology capable of handling my vision to be able to simply, quickly, and effectively browse a 3D dialogue tree to sort by:
chronology (often, for clearer understanding of discussion flow it is more helpful to understand the order that things were said in, rather than seeing them clustered by the comment which they are replying to),
relationship (all replies to and quotes of an earlier comment|post|entry are semantically linked and can be grouped and ungrouped at will),
topic (different threads that share a common theme and even individual posts|comments in different threads that have more to do with each other than their parent threads).

After being admin on the Numonohi messageboard for a couple of years and then participating in the Photosynth forums, I’ve seen many cases where a conversation forks and really would be better off if broken out into its own thread. If moderators are given the ability to correctly tag comments and replies, then the end user should be able to see the rabbit trail as heading off in another direction visually|spatially and not be distracted if they wish to simply follow the main thread. This also allows those who wish to take rabbit trails to go ahead and preserves original context for where a rabbit trail was born, rather than a hard coded migration to a new thread by a mod.

It also provides a visual way of discovering related topics, given that a mod has tagged two topics as being similar.

Visual inspiration:
Microsoft Seadragon
(for implementing ZUI correctly + rearranging DZIs on the fly)
Microsoft Live Labs Pivot
(for demonstrating the power of visually filtering data + preserving context)
Final Fantasy 13 Skill Leveling Menu
(for a general idea of the fractal branching structure of topics)
Windows Phone Messaging
(for clean layout)
Zune Social
(for clean layout)