When we originally set out on this journey of providing clearly defined learning workflows and easy to navigate resources for becoming a topic master, we really had to sit back a few times and realize that what we were undertaking was way beyond having a website for topics.
This seemed to be leading us down a path of confusion on the presentation layer of things and relegating us into the very frustration we had with site like Wikipedia and other learning resources. We call that scenario the"What Next" issue. Wikipedia is great for one off story lines, but the workflow is hardly research friendly in guiding a newbie to the water.
During the first year we had collected data on over 250 topics and had completed and architecture focused on web browsing and the outcome was just so overwhelmed. After a few deep soul moments and very harsh doubts about what we were trying to achieve, the eureka hit. Joticle as a website should be the conductor of an orchestra of topics and not be the instrument itself. Below is a screen shot of the very first prototype for the Joticle website, this topic was focused for developers:
Enter the word SEGMENTATION. The realization through analytics and doing q&a with users, was that it was a distracted format. A few choice conversations led to the thought that we needed to segment our topics in tidy packages. We called these Pods.
To keep it brief we have two type of topic pods. A Learning Pod and a Reference Pod. A Learning Pod is a deep dive into a topic with more fine grained information and resources available and a more comprehensive approach to presenting a topic for learning. A Reference Pod is essentially a topic glossary with some very limited helpful information and resources, but not an all out pot. The idea is for the community to drive a reference pod to a learning pod status.
How can you tell if it is a Learning Pod or a Reference Pod?
Aside from the marketing material and description on the app stores we provide. The easiest way to know if it is a learning pod or a reference pod is the logo of the pod. The O is an icon in every Learning Pod logo as well as the use of a color scheme. A Reference Pod is Jot in blue and nothing else special.
Learning Pod Logo Example
Reference Pod Logo Example
The two types of pods represent our core platforms for topic delivery. There is a third. I will talk about in another post.