We've got lots of exciting new developments to share at Expert Labs! Let's jump right in.
ThinkTank is now ThinkUp
Our flagship application has gone through a bit of an identity shift, and comes through with an even better, punchier name: ThinkUp. And just as you'd expect, the new name was collecting using the application itself, from a submission by Mark Wallace, which was gathered by a ThinkUp instance and then used to inform our decision. That's exactly how the system's supposed to work!
But the good news is more than just skin deep—We anticipate finally having a beta release of ThinkUp in a few weeks with several exciting features, much of which was created by our awesome Google Summer of Code students. Highlights include:
- Showing responses to a question on a map
- Sorting responses by distance from the asker
- A much cleaner, neater user interface
- Far simpler installation
- Tons of improvements for developers, including better performance tracking and error reporting
We've updated our site and most of the code to reflect the new name, but you can expect a little bit of dust as we transition to the new name for the application.
We're also beginning our second wave of experiments with ThinkUp, based on a few clear goals about what we'd like to be able to do at Expert Labs:
- More simultaneous experiments: Instead of just one question being answered for one agency, we'll be trying to help a lot of different questions get answered
- More understanding of how people want to gather ideas: We'll take what we learned from the Grand Challenges project to form better questions with more insightful answers
We have ambitious new tech goals as well:
- Integration with more networks, from popular services like Google Buzz to specific networks like Vivo
- Integration with new updated services like FaceBook's new Q&A feature
- Using web services and other tools for analysis: We'd love your help connecting to tools that could give us more insights, like SwiftRiver, other data analysis APIs and libraries
In short, we're gearing up for our technology platform to reach maturity, which lets us put our whole focus on serving more policy makers and drawing a much broader new audience in to helping shape policy decisions. We can't wait to get started, and we hope you'll join us in the effort.