Imagine beginning a meeting with a video presentation similar to the Crisis of Credit Visualized. After such a presentation, a discussion usually arises. My interest for future explorations of the New Mediators’ approach is to examine ways in which the approach can move beyond facilitating understanding in the presentation phase—the finished video—and begin to enhance the discussion phase—the conversation after the video. Imagining such an experience can be quite interesting:
The video slides off of the wall and down onto the table. Every symbol, arrow, and graphic becomes malleable—you can “grab” the bank icon. If you needed to see the bank’s balance sheet, you could click it with your finger, brining up the most current information. You could also flip it over to examine the sources used while researching the piece. Then you drag the bank together with another bank while talking about a possible merger, which you then toss across the table to allow your colleagues to examine the instantly-calculated combined assets.
As far as future designed-objects are concerned, my interest lies in applications that enable interactions like those described above. But perhaps more exciting are the implications I can imagine from an institutional or even cultural point of view. To think radically:
Imagine if all U.S. Government information was tagged in a format similar to XBRL, allowing it to be sorted, organized, and mashed up. Imagine if this information was fed out through a series of application programming interfaces (API). These APIs could be taken by analysts, journalists, designers, or anyone who is interested and visually synthesized into graphics, diagrams, videos, interactive applications, performances, etc. In a sense, if the U.S. Government encouraged such practices by making the information friendly and useful, they could “crowd-source” their responsible transparency —or, responsible governmental transparency “of the people, by the people, for the people.”