26 February, 2010

How To Mind Map Your Blog

"I must create a system,
or be enslaved by another man's,"
William Blake

The Mind Map of The Colorist blog was posted a week ago Monday, and you may wish to do this exercise for your own blog. My goal in doing a mind map was to
clean up my busy sidebar and sort out what kinds of data I may want for the new Blogger tabs.

The following describes how I did my mind map.

detail - center of the mind map

I began with the identified subject in the center of the blank page, and drew radii with subjects that I found easy to describe based on
what I like to write about in the blog. The broad subjects included Art essays, Art History, My Art, The Art Blogging Community, Casey Klahn (it is my newsletter), etc.

I skipped the rule about using color (go figure!). I think in color when I draw, though - that's part of my whole job description. A rule I will follow next time is that one should
pose the subject as a thesis statement or as a question, not just, "The Colorist." I should have written: "what are the components of The Colorist?"

I consulted my labels, and then I described the sub-branches by associations of content with the main branches. For instance, "My Art" has several sub branches such as abstract and landscape genres. Also, the broad category of "Art Content" broke down into the associated subjects of "art philosophy" and "education."

brain.gif picture by caseyklahn

The finding of links between the broad subjects, or a systems analysis of how subjects connect, was illustrated by double ended arrows running between the main branches. This is the most problematic area, and I think the worst represented by mind mapping. Systems are more complex than this 2 dimensional scheme, and they have multiple associations, not just those that are easily illustrated by an arrow. Anyway, the object was to
get some systems identified, and to find groupings that will help me pull together types of content for my tabs and my sidebar widgets.

Below, I drew a pop-out that attempted to scheme some broad concerns of the blog. I want to keep my blog focused on ideas, and not so much on myself - people get bored with that. That's why I drew the overlap as a little bit of the artist's self, a better amount of content (ideas) and a whole lot of action (painting and drawing). The outside influences of culture and others I described as "world."

Like with the Borg, all ideas can be assimilated, but when you get the crew of the star ship Enterprise involved, all bets are off. I would say the same thing applies to the artistic mind. Artists are (or should be) the most individual souls on Earth. Systems that artists work within may not function for other offices. Create your own sets of ideas and make your artist's blog a "Mind Map" of your own personality.

Extreme Navel Gazing Links:

Mind Mapping
Argument Map
Disney Mind Map 1957

Funny gif by EFAmbros


SamArtDog said...

I don't know, Casey... Maybe it's because I didn't get much sleep last night, but this post cracked me up. Right when I got to the part when I said to myself, "huh?", the itchy brain wearing the high-tops showed up. Then I remembered a quote you posted (no, of course I don't remember who said it first), but I think of it every time I lose my balance. It is, "Ignore everyone else."

Casey Klahn said...

Yeah, Sam. I take the whole thing with a grain of salt, too. I got a chuckle out of your comment, and this is why I took so long posting this.

I wrote it over a week ago, but it was too long and ponderous. Still is, but anyway, the brainy (why did I post this on a Friday?) will get something from it. If not now, then maybe after a few days.

Notice, everyone, that I am slowly filling up the tabs, the banner is in flux, and there is a lot of instability on the sidebar. Fun things are happening.

Unknown said...

Very cool, Casey!! You and I think alike in this respect. Perhaps it's my background in paleontology and climatology. Creating a network with sets and subsets, connections, feedback loops, and vectors is a wonderful way to paint a picture of the complex "whole."

Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism