Created by Jon Ippolito in conjunction with Vectors Journal of Culture and Techbology in a Dynamic Vernacular, ThoughtMesh is an innovative web service that provides academics with an opportunity to more easily and effectively disseminate their scholarly articles via the web.
ThoughtMesh was conceived as an effort to overstep the limitations associated with academia’s currency of the peer-reviewed print journal, which can be viewed as an isolating and outdated medium for distribution of intellectual discourse in our increasingly networked environment. Operating via a tag-based navigation system, ThoughtMesh allows users to instantly locate excerpts within essays that deal specifically with the subject matter they are wishing to research. For example, within an essay dealing with a wider topic within new media, a researcher may select the tag ‘interactivity’ to be presented with direct excerpts from the essay that deal with this subject matter. Beyond this, users may also view from a list of sections of other essays throughout the mesh that also share this tag.
ThoughtMesh presents itself as an avenue for scholars to tap into and participate in flows of information Twittering and Flickring across the world. It is also an ideal way for academics specializing in digital culture to situate their discourse within the culture itself. ThoughtMesh’s system of fluid distribution bears benefits when compared to single repository databases in that it interconnects essays and authors beyond their affiliations with single institutions or isolated networks and websites. Users are given the option of submitting their work directly into ThoughtMesh’s database, or simply tagging essays as they are published on a remote website.
This essay by John Ippolito outlines the intended aims and outcomes of the ThoughtMesh project.