Screens, Research and Hypertext

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The REMINDER Project and Showing Connections

We want to show that all of our research themes are connected.

This was perhaps the most exciting line in any think tank project brief I’d ever read (I don’t get out much). The REMINDER project (Role of European Mobility and its Impacts in Narratives, Debates and European Union Reforms) approached Soapbox to discuss building a toolkit that would help wrap up the fifty or so reports and briefs that the program had generated across five major areas.

They wanted something that went beyond the normal PDF.

That's because when it comes to intra-European Union (EU) migration, policy, media coverage, public attitudes, and actual migration statistics interact in complex and important ways. That means you can’t really understand, say, media coverage of EU migration without also understanding policy and public opinion or actual trends in migration.

The REMINDER team wanted to show those interactions.

For more context

Hypertext is the ideal medium for showing connections between ideas.

What to read next

The REMINDER project is a choose your own adventure story, but for policy.

Other items of interest

Why not just make this a normal PDF report?

What's involved in building connections between different modules of content?

Referenced in

On the Virtues of Content Strategy

The key is investing in the time and effort to marry the right form to the content. The REMINDER project dedicated around 20% of its budget to content strategy and design, then invested about 80% of staff time into writing, editing and approving the 60+ articles in the toolkit. That’s an 80/20 rule we might do well to copy in future.

Choose Your Own Adventure

It didn’t take long for the REMINDER team and Soapbox to converge on the idea of a choose-your-own-adventure approach to the project.

On the Virtues of Content Strategy

A research report probably isn’t the right form most of the time. IMRAD just isn't a structure that lends itself to very many different uses. But a nonlinear, choose-your-own-adventure toolkit won’t be right most of the time, either.

Linear Writing

The web is full of possibilities for a new kind of thinking and for a new kind of writing. The medium is still pretty new, so we don’t have very many conventions for what this sort of thing should look like yet, though there are a few starting to pop up. We’ll have to do some experimentation. Some of it will work. Some of it won’t.