May 2007 Archives

San Francisco Excursion

I'm headed to the glorious San Francisco Bay Area in a few weeks for the 2007 edition of O'Reilly's Foo Camp.

O'Reilly Foo Camp

I'm hoping to finance my trip with a few speaking gigs. This may prove difficult, for while I'm not flying the furthest, I may have to buy a Segway as well as a tent.

So, if your group is interested in a short presentation or in-depth workshop (ideally on June 21) on such topics as information architecture, user experience, ambient findability, or the future of search, please pull this string.

Strange Connections

In the lemur book, I used Ambient Devices to illustrate the imminent proliferation of alternate interfaces to digital networked information. It looks like Microsoft Surface is a big step in that direction. Here's a bullish report.

With the recent launch of Smart Experience, Victor Lombardi has become a bona fide 21st century education entrepreneur. Grow Victor, grow!

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Remix the Polar Bear

During my visit to Barcelona, I invited my workshop participants to define a strategy or approach to information architecture that is uniquely Spanish.


Jordi Sánchez rose to the challenge with a couple of covers, one of which I've selected for the remixpolarbear collection on Flickr (for now, try here).

This all started with the infamous cow talk in which Peter Bogaards, the man behind InfoDesign, described a European information architecture strategy.

Jorge Arango picked up the torch during our retreat in Chile with his ant cover, a symbol for social information architecture and the value(s) of deep context.

Which brings us back to Barcelona with questions. What is the meaning of the Picasso polar bear? What is the Spanish strategy? Is it the art of branding? And, which country will be next?

Feel free to upload your version to Flickr, tag it with remixpolarbear (for now, see here) and explain your country's unique contribution to information architecture strategy and practice. Just don't tell the folks at O'Reilly. Thanks!

Strange Connections

My amazing translator, Noriyo Asano, informed me today that the Japanese edition of Ambient Findability is headed into its fifth printing in just over a year.

Library Camp NYC looks like a great unconference.

According to Brad, John Wilson is running a guerilla campaign to find himself. Seth thinks it's silly. Easy for him to say.

Remix the O'Reilly animals with QOOP. We love our polar bear mugs!

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I'm flying east tonight, to speak about information architecture at USID'07 and the future of search at Yahoo! Research Barcelona.

Parc Guell

I'm really looking forward to spending time with Mari-Carmen Marcos and Ricardo Baeza-Yates (I met them in Chile), meeting some new folks, and exploring the fantastical shapes, spaces, and structures of Parc Guell.

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What Will Be

I love hearing from readers, especially when they're teachers. Here's my very favorite message of today, reprinted with permission.

Mr. Morville:

Thanks so much for your book. I'm reading it for a second time...and will no doubt read it a third.

I teach a seminar (soon to be a webinar) on research skills for high school seniors who are bound for college. I open every seminar with this question: "What could you be, what could you do, what could your life be like, if you knew that you could find the answer to any question you might ever have, about anything - and not just about what is, or what has been, but what will be?"

Once I kick out a few examples of such "any questions", I have to be very careful not to let this introductory discussion overwhelm the entire time for the seminar!

Now you know why I thank you for your book.

Brian Taylor
Marysville, WA

Makes me want to go back to school. Thanks Brian!

Strange Connections

I had lunch with Superpatron this week (ten ways to build better libraries).

Thanks to a name change, I'm now on the advisory board of Global Findability.

I'm reading too much. The Black Swan. Fascinating, disturbing, and addictive. The Art of Forgetting. Not sure I agree. Is Relevance Relevant? Less and less. Open Source Search Analytics. User-defined best bets? Happy Friday!

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Everything is Miscellaneous

I've written a review, (Not) Everything is Miscellaneous, of David Weinberger's new book. While I don't agree with everything, I do recommend it highly.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

Discovering what you want is at least as important as finding what you know you want. (9)
The solution to the overabundance of information is more information. (13)
How we draw lines can have dramatic effects on who has power and who does not. (32)
It would seem that Wikipedia does everything in its power to avoid being an authority, yet that seems only to increase its authority - a paradox that indicates an important change in the nature of authority itself. (142)
Information architects - the professionals who design the organization of and human interface with information. (165)

Judging by the way it's climbing the charts at Amazon, Everything is Miscellaneous is destined to change the way lots of folks think about organization and knowledge. Congratulations David!

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