Information Structures and Information Value
… or Infostructure
Remember the post Information is King. Imagine an information world freed from applications – ie the data is not bound to applications anymore. We are there – who needs to fire up an application to view/add content, when we have it all in the web browser. Gone are the days when we sort files after file types, which means sorting files by applications. Who in the (information-)world needs that? It serves the information worker nothing.
OK, so now we’re in the information world. We utilize the web environment made for handling information. Information is made up of information bits or items. We connect, associate, we try to find the whole picture of an issue/case, etc.
Earlier the focus was on infrastructure, on applications on application-environments. Now we can concentrate our attention on information (which was the real issue all the time). The Infostructure
So what is this Infostructure we need and what enables it?
We make sure the web environment we’re in utilize the idea of connectivity to it’s fullest – meaning you can link/connect anything on any level. The only tools I’ve seen so far honoring this idea of granularity of linking is Branch.com and Traction Teampage , where you can link/branch on a sentence or paragraph level.
How do we connect information? How do we get the whole picture? What are best practices for information handling in the E2.0 world?
What do we need to do with information? We need to find, collect, get the whole picture, if we are contributing, we need to put in right place or context.
From KM we have (non-social) information structures, where we categorized, catalogized information. In web (2.0) we have linking and we have tagging to connect/organize information. And we have search.
OK, to summaraize. We connect/find information:
- through people (networks)
- in KM (tree-)structures
- by linking (honor granularity)
- through tags
- in search
We’re searching for optimal/perfect infostructure , perhaps combining all of these means. Is there a mechanism here , a tool, an engine, a best practice that can ensures optimal information value? If we enable for emergence, what up-front structures need to be in place, if any? This is what concerned our pioneers. How far have we come today in our quest for a perfect infostructure?
Tim Berners-Lee 1991 – Brought Hypertext and Internet together to create the World Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee on Semantic Web TB-Lee: The Next Web of open linked data