Master the Climate Web (CW)
Note: If you’ve arrived here but are not familiar with the Climate Web, the New to the Climate Web? link to the right will give you a quick introduction! If you’re more interested in how you can take best advantage of the Climate Web than in its structure and capabilities, the Leveraging the Climate Web link to the right has the answer.
Millions of people in the United States and around the world are worried about climate change. But climate change is a wicked problem, and 30 years of trying have had only limited impact. To accelerate climate change progress, the Climate Web (CW) builds on the knowledge management ideas expressed in the quotes below. Based on more than 10 years of aggregating and organizing information, if there is a solution (or combination of solutions) to solving to climate change, that information is probably already in the Climate Web.
What if anyone working on or worried about climate change could take advantage of today’s collective knowledge about both the nature of the climate change problem and how to solve it? In other words, as expressed in the slide above, what if anyone could “know what we [collectively] know,” and take advantage of the ideas being “worn shiny” by the work of so many experts? That’s what the Climate Web is all about!
Through the links at top right you can access a number of subsidiary pages exploring different aspects and capabilities of the Climate Web. Before doing that, however, it might be useful to provide some insight into the process by which information is found, integrated into the Climate Web, and then sliced and diced to facilitate user access to actionable climate knowledge.
Sourcing Climate Web Materials
How do we source the materials in the Climate Web? A lot of the materials come through social media feeds. Almost any important climate-related news story is likely to show up in the Climatographers’ LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter feeds, and from there we quickly drop it into the Climate Web. If a news story or opinion piece references a new report or study, we’ll usually try to get a copy of the original study as well, linking it to the news story for easy access.
But the Climate Web doesn’t include just news stories; it has videos, websites, and more. Anything that we think could help inform climate change conversations gets dropped into the Climate Web.
We do a lot of internet digging into specific topics in order to increase the depth of the Climate Web’s coverage. We’ll actually go through many pages of “hits” in our online searching to see what might be hidden there.
One of the questions people frequently ask us is whether we have bots or spiders scouring the internet and dumping new stuff into the Climate Web. The answer is no; everything in the Climate Web has been intentionally added by the Climatographers.
Naming and Categorizing Sourced Materials
We used naming conventions for materials added to the Climate Web, e.g. “Year Author_Title” for sources, and “Year/Month Title” for news and opinion pieces so that all the materials of a given type are in a consistent format for searching and generating reports. Once materials are added to the Climate Web we rename them as needed. If you’re interested in seeing what the renaming “pending” list looks like at any given time, you can see it here.
Once renamed, added materials (thoughts) are integrated into the Climate Web by linking them to relevant Topical Headings and Index Entries, and in the case of new studies and reports to the lead author and/or publishing organization.
Extracting Graphics and Ideas
The Climatographers go through important new studies and other materials to extract key ideas and graphics to organize in the Climate Web. In some cases we’ll spend hours or even days going through a key book or report. Extracted ideas and graphics always remain physically linked to their original source for easy access.
Extracted materials are then organized into Topical Headings of their own. You can see all the graphics and ideas relating to “systemic risk,” for example, under the same Topical Heading or sub-headings. When you see something interesting you can take advantage of the fact that the thought is physically linked to its original source and jump to that source if relevant. Extracted materials can lead you to all kinds of materials you might not have been aware of.
Learn more through the Topical Headings link at top right.
Once materials have been initially integrated into the Climate Web a number of things continue to happen:
We’re always creating new Topical Headings and (sub) Headings and re-categorizing their contents (child thoughts).
We’re always creating new Index Entries and populating them with relevant materials. Learn more through the Index page at right.
We’re always creating or adding to the more than 750 Topical Dashboards in the Climate Web. Learn more through the Dashboards page at right.
We’re always adding the most insightful materials to Audience or Topical Roadmaps in the Climate Web. Learn more through the Roadmaps page at right.
We’re always creating new or updating Climate Sites consisting of information extracted directly from the Climate Web. Learn more through the Climate Sites page at right.
The bottom line is that the Climate Web is always evolving and always getting more sophisticated in its knowledge curation. At any time we can assemble relevant materials into topical briefings, webinars or E-courses, and provide private URL access to custom Dashboards.