Creating a Rhizomatic knowledge node on a website

This is another attempt at showing what a rhizomatic build would look like. It fits in with an article I’m currently writing and a discussion paper that is dying in the draft section of this blog. I’m looking for feedback on this, so I do hope some of you will take the five minutes to listen to it and then comment. If your comment is “I have no idea what you’re talking about” that’s fine too. I’m just trying to find a more dynamic way of talking about something that is always changing. This will also appear as a ‘resource’ on the article that should be published in June…

Link to the excellent folks at

One more thing… There are two websites I’m trying to do this on right now…

Author: dave

I run this site... among other things.

10 thoughts on “Creating a Rhizomatic knowledge node on a website”

  1. Dave,
    This is very interesting. As part of our 21st Century Learners Project in Alabama, we hope to create a curriculum camp this summer where teachers and students generate high quality, highly interactive lesson plans. I’ve been wondering how to capture what they create in ways that other teachers — in Alabama and elsewhere can use. Your site intrigues me. Do you think there is a fit here?

  2. Cathy,

    I’m a little biased… this is the culmination of five years of trying to make community sites. So, yes, i think it would be perfect 🙂

    It addresses several issues – workflow, evaporation of content in a traditional blog, and the structure difficulties in a wiki.

    workflow – blog(photo text or others) feed integration with tagging among other things

    Wikis tend to spiral desperately out of control on large builds. The intent of this is the impose structure that doesn’t rely on very well trained or very committed users.

  3. Hi Dave,
    Sorry I haven’t been able to be more active in your project this fall. I’ve followed it and planned to join in but then a student stays after school for one thing or another and another day is gone. The more one does, the more busy one gets.. what else is new? A few thoughts:
    Before more people come to the site and add more content there is another relationship between the new photo content and the original content. If the photo has a tag and an original tag has a piece of content, once you linked the photo to a piece of content the two tags also have a relationship through the shared content.

    There is some relationship between the new content and the new tags relative in space to the old tags and content – is the placement random?

    When you talk about the new knowledge coming in, isn’t this the essence of the power of database design?

    Have you followed the development over the years of I believe it was started in about 1993/94. There was also a very interesting visual chat that was being developed at MIT around the same years. It had a series of colored dots of varying sizes. I wonder what came of that. I always found it fascinating.

  4. Seeing the video and understanding the concept of rhizomatics from your earlier writings I can honestly say I am struck with great inspiration to start practicing the rhizomatic knowledge node immediately in a website environment. I have long agreed with the idea that knowledge is not linear or nearly as structured as educational frameworks of old tend to want to make it. To enter at any point and exit at any other point while continuing to add to one’s “spiral” knowledge base seems to more definitively describe how learning really takes place.

    The video helps me “see” how all this can work on a website and how a community can collectively build a rhizomatic knowledge “node”. I have questions about the tagging process but love the idea of making that the skill the learn. We need to learn how to tag so that the connections can take place in an organic way. I really appreciate your comment about the people being responsible contributors so the concept can flourish.

    Great job on continuing to define rhizomes.

  5. Dave,
    I have been struggling with how to teach a graduate level instructional course from a social constructivist/connectivist perspective, and after seeing your video, I am able to imagine how I might begin to design a *much* more student-centered approach compared to my previous attempts.

    I will definitely be giving this more thought. I am inspired by your ideas.

  6. interesting. wouldn’t it make more sense for tags to emerge as from natural language used in the content itself?

    that way the content–content relations are made explicit by the nature of their inclusion within various tags. i.e., i’d expect both the content of “fuel combustion engines – how they work” and the content of “gasoline – how it works” to be related with at least the one similar tag of automobiles.

    to me it seems like tags should be intersection points that accrue greater “density” as it were as more content-content lines cross those points. then tags wouldn’t have to be user-defined, either, though they could be as well.

    does that make any sense?

  7. that way the content–content relations are developed explicit by way of the dynamics of those inclusion within many tags. i.e., i’d anticipate each the content substance of “fuel combustion engines – how they work” as well as the content substance of “gasoline – how it works” to become linked acquiring a minimal of the one equivalent tag of automobiles.The participant assists me “see” how all this could provide the outcomes on the webpage and the way in which a local community can collectively create a rhizomatic know-how “node”.

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