Wow, the comments are terrific. We've considered something along the lines of the Visual Thesaurus, and we intend to make HC far more interactive than it is. Keep them coming, guys, this is extraordinarily helpful. I'm taking notes. :)
-- MIke (Black Max of the Commons)
I can see how the description of "walled garden" is applicable, but I've always thought of CooperativeResearch.org/HistoryCommons.org as a highly credible and useful information/educational resource, that allows anyone to contribute who is willing to adhere to the high standards, and has editorial controls in place to minimize BS and disruption.
The people running historycommons.org have demonstrated a commitment to documenting the reality and full history of important trends and events; it's not an outlet for establishment propaganda, the way wikipedia is. HistoryCommons.org relies on 'mainstream' sources- great insight into the big picture and small details are available from MSM and govt reports, but they are often ignored by the majority of pols and pundits, and missed by the general public, as they may be buried deep in the reports, at the ends of articles or on the inner pages, or only reported by a single news outlet, or only make sense in context with other information, which is not provided by MSM journalists; this is what historycommons.org does so well, and the org deserves greater attention.
I'm a contributor, btw.
I always considered CCR as an information gathering site with verified and accurate contributions from responsible journalists. It's where I go when I wish to make sure I'm talking about facts, not rumors. It would be great if it were interactive.
It would be cool to do the visual links as mentioned, check out this TED video on "information is beautiful" (data visualization) - http://www.phibetaiota.net/?p=28577
Another that relates = http://www.thebrain.com
In reply to the above comment about the website being "just basically a collection of data," is far from accurate. It's well organized sources put into chronological order. How many other website developers/managers can say their site lives up to such a standard? As insanely popular as Wikipedia has become, it cannot compete with History Commons in regards to value from the interconnections it reveals due to its format.
I think HC serves its purpose but should have its own forum that is part of the site but not simply a commenting system for each entry which I think would fragment the feedback.
See the "Citizen Investigation Team" forum - http://z3.invisionfree.com/CIT
FYI: I did a search for "historycommons.org" at the above forum and 6 entries were returned.
Have you used the program Visual Thesaurus? Could not the links between events on HC be visually linked in this way?
I would just say that the website is very raw, that is it's just basically a collection of data -- and that's probably good. People can come and follow the timelines and come to their own conclusions. It would open a can of worms to provide analysis, although I wouldn't be against it. It would certainly potentially complicate things, though.