May 2006 Archives

The Hyperlinked Society

I'm looking forward to participating in The Hyperlinked Society. I'm inspired (and awed) by my fellow panelists, and the program looks delicious:

Most internet users know hyperlinks as highlighted words on a web page that take them to certain other sites. But hyperlinks today are quite complex forms of instant connection: for example, tags, API mashups, and RSS feeds. Moreover, media convergence has led to increased instant linking among desktop computers, cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, digital video recorders, and even billboards.

Through these activities and far more, links are becoming the basic forces that relate creative works to one another. Links nominate what ideas and actors have the right to be heard and with what priority. Various stakeholders in society recognize the political and economic value of these connections. Governments, corporations, non-profits and individual media users often work to digitally privilege certain ideas over others.

Do links encourage people to see beyond their personal situations and know the broad world in diverse ways? Or, instead, do links encourage people to drill into their own territories and not learn about social concerns that seem irrelevant to their personal interests? What roles do economic and political considerations play in creating links that nudge people in one or the other direction?

We need cross-disciplinary thinking to address these contentious questions, and so our panels include renowned news, entertainment and marketing executives, information architects, bloggers, cartographers, audience analysts, and communication researchers. Audience participation will be enthusiastically encouraged.

Unfortunately, I have no clue what I'm going to say. That's where you come in. How would you address these topics? What questions aren't being asked? Who isn't being included? And what should I read to get ready? Thanks!

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CIO Insight

I was recently interviewed by CIO Insight magazine about Why Information Architecture Matters. I'm not sure I did justice to the topic, but at least I managed to put concepts like authority, credibility, and information architecture in front of 50,000 CIOs. Oh yeah, and I did mention Ambient Findability though I suspect most CIOs have neither the time nor inclination to actually read books.

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Bruce Sterling has begun a Web Semantics Watch.


And thanks to BlogPulse, all of us can play along.

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Our Internet of Objects

I'd like to thank Caroline for highlighting this passage from Ambient Findability:

As we build our Internet of objects, the permutations of sociosemantic metadata will create new avenues of findability. Where has this object been? Which objects were in close proximity to this object? Who touched my object? Where are they now? The era of ambient findability will overflow with metadata, as every object and location sprouts tags: social and semantic, embedded and unembedded, controlled and uncontrollable. Imagine the sensory overload of a walk in the park. Every path shimmers with the flow of humanity. Every person drips with the scent of information: experience, opinion, karma, contacts. Every tree has a story: taxonomies and ontologies form bright lattices of logic. Desire lines flicker with unthinkable complexity in this consensual hallucination of space and non-space, a delicious yet overwhelming sociosemantic experience.

Reading this from a distance reminds me how much fun it can be to write.

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