I am working on a series of episodes that will be made into individual videos to explain different technologies and how they interrelate at different levels within a specific application domain (the aim being to produce something that is similar to a video-based Wikipedia). To try to keep this engaging and manageable (both to create and consume), I want this to have an underlying structure (kind-of a story). My reasoning being that episodes will frequently cover topics that are in some way a 'gateway' or 'foundation' topic for understanding another episode.
So, I want to be able to say within each episode if there is any prerequisite knowledge for the episode ("Before you watch this episode, you may find it useful to know about..."), and also to be able to give jumping-off points to related topics at the end of each episode ("If you found this episode interesting, you might also want to watch..."). Ideally I want to approach this mapping task graphically. Which is now my problem: How to describe the domain in a way that lets me map, understand and communicate dependencies, and other relationships, between topics and episodes?
A mind map doesn't quite work, as I don't have a single thing with radiating spokes. Also each relationship I need to capture/express might be directed (e.g. a dependency) or undirected (e.g. an alternative technology that could be used in place of the one discussed). There will be a web of episodes where each node (episode) has nested 'key points', each of which might be individually relevant to one or more episodes, or one ore more other key-points (in other episodes).
Why a mind-map doesn't fit my needs
A simple example to show this, starting with four possible episodes: Let's say I have an episode on candles, one on oil lamps, an episode on gas lamps, and an episode on electric lamps. These are alternatives to one another (one kind of relationship), and also the electric lamp made the combustion-based lamps mostly obsolete (another kind of relationship). Then there's the temporal aspect, oil-lamps and are really old, gas-lamps relatively new, and electric lamps the newest.
Oh, and by the way, both candles and oil lamps make use of a wick, so I might also need an episode to explain how wicks work, and link that to the oil-lamp and candle episodes (as something that "might be interesting")?
So even with very few episodes, there are a lot of links of different types and at different levels making a highly interconnected web. I think I need around 40 episodes in total all of which will have clusters of relationships.
A class-diagram alternative?
As I have a software engineering background, this is starting to make me feel a bit as though I need a UML class-diagram to describe everything, and I'm trying to avoid that though, as I want to be able to colloborate with non-software people in building and reviewing the episode plan!
Does anyone know of a diagramming type that would fit to what I'm trying to do please? (This may not be the best SE site for this, it seemed closest though)