I’m always interested in cross-platform content, and Visual Thesaurus really stuck out for me. From the website:
“The Visual Thesaurus is an interactive dictionary and thesaurus which creates word maps that blossom with meanings and branch to related words. Its innovative display encourages exploration and learning. You’ll understand language in a powerful new way.”
It seems to be incredibly useful in creative brainstorming efforts. For me, personally, I usually start my brainstorming process by creating a list of words that relate to a certain idea or issue. From there, I will pick out ideas and directions to explore and go further in depth. Sometimes I get stuck on a word block and my brainstorming process gets interrupted. This becomes very dangerous because I tend to lose interest when I lose my train of thought. Visual Thesaurus helps me avoid that particular problem by providing me with a set amount of words that relate to my initial thought. It is different from a traditional thesaurus because it doesn’t just give you synonyms (or antonyms). It works in a more non-linear method, much like how your brain links ideas and thoughts. I find it incredibly fascinating that the creators were able to find a way to do this.
While it is essentially a paid service, there is also a very simplistic search engine on the main page that will allow you to see how Visual Thesaurus may help in your thinking process.