The Content Strategy Conversation

Kristina Halvorson has written a very thought provoking article called The Discipline of Content Strategy over on A List Apart. The reader comments after the article are equally interesting and engaging, so I’d call it a smashing success! I agree with those that say that the discussion of this discipline is in roughly the same place that the discussion of IA was about 10-15 years ago, and I’m so happy to see people actively taking part in advancing the conversation. Halvorson makes several really good points, but there remains a need to connect the dots. This is not a criticism of the article, I think it’s just where the discipline is at this point in time. Continue reading “The Content Strategy Conversation”

Open Science, Open World

I was recently browsing a British blog called Science in the open, by Cameron Neylon, which is described as “An openwetware blog on the challenges of open and connected science.” I wasn’t sure how relevant this would be to me, but I quickly discovered that many of the openness issues facing the scientific community are similar to (or deeply related to) issues in the rest of the world of information. Continue reading “Open Science, Open World”

Floating in the Information Stream

I read this article with great interest: Is Online Noise Really Bad for You? (from RWW). It’s actually a reprint (with updates) of a previous article, but I had missed it the first time. I’ve written about information glut before, and I regularly struggle with impending overload, but this article reminded me of a different perspective, equally important

This is the paragraph that made me sit up and take notice:

“The ability to recall passively collected information that was gathered purposelessly in the past and put it to use in the future is a particularly powerful form of intelligence. A person with a substantial reservoir of generally relevant information is a great person to have on any team.”

Because, in fact, I’ve known for a while that one of the ways I approach problem solving (if it can really be called an approach) is by somehow synthesizing ambient knowledge. The reason I’m hesitant to call this “an approach” is that you really can’t predict or control the process, but by this method I have, over the years, spontaneously solved a number of problems that I really had no business solving. Continue reading “Floating in the Information Stream”

FEED: The Razorfish Consumer Experience Report 2008

Yes, I’ve been neglecting this blog, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been productive. My employer (which has changed it’s name back to Razorfish) has published another book, which contains an article by me about semantic web and user-generated data. You can see the whole, beautifully designed document online. My article is on page 60. Congratulations to my colleagues who also contributed to the book.

Paraflows 2008

Right now I’m in Vienna for a digital art and culture festival called Paraflows. It’s been organized by several different art groups. I will be speaking on Thursday evening, as part of a week-long event called MetaSpace in DiscourseLab. I’ve met lots of interesting people here, already, and the art scene in Vienna is amazing. 

I happened through Vienna for a weekend when I was studying in Prague for my last semester in college. This was in the early 90s, and I remember stubming across a series of video installations in the U-Bahn stations. This was so incredible to me – that a city would do so much to provide very progressive public art. It seems that the tradition has continued and grown, as the Austrian government is very dedicated to supporting new and innovative areas of art, technology, and culture. 

I’ll write more about the conference, after it gets fully underway.

The Internet: Now With EVERYTHING

I have this theory that everything you could ever want is on the internet, or will be soon. In fact, I’m going to be giving a talk in a few weeks at MetaSpace in DiscourseLab, which is a 5-day event that’s part of paraflows 2008, a digital art and culture festival in Vienna, and this very idea is part of the premise of my talk.

In preparation for my talk, i wanted to find a way to generate labels that looks like cards from an old-fashioned card catalog. I figured that there must be something like this somewhere online, but I didn’t know how difficult it might be to find. I typed “card catalog” into google and this Card Catalog Generator was the fourth result, with this explanatory post called Roll Your Own Catalog Card as the fifth result.

I love when things like this happen. So, now I’m going to use this to prepare some of the graphics for my talk and, it’s very meta, but I’m going to have to mention how easily I discovered it too. Thanks John Blyberg!

Quoted in the New York Times

This doesn’t really have anything to do with central themes of this blog, but I was quoted in a Times article today, about the new walking and seating area that runs along 8 blocks of Broadway (including an area directly in front of my office): Front-Row Seats on Broadway, if You Dare.

My quote is actually the closing comment in the article. I’m not going to spoil it, though, you’ll have to read the article.

The Last HOPE: Social Engineering

Here it is, my slightly delayed final post about The Last HOPE. I have a tentative interest in the Social Engineering themes that were explored there. I see this as a sort of “How to win friends and influence people” for misfits. (I include myself in this category). Which is not to say that it’s an entirely antisocial practice.

Of course there were talks on prank calling and other activities which exploit most people’s tendency to trust others and take their actions and words at face value. I have to admit, sometimes this is hilarious, even if it does give me slight pangs of social irresponsibility. Here’s an example of one my favorites from classic (aka print) bOINGbOING: Carla crank calls a cryogenics company. (Nothing to do with HOPE, it just cracks me up).

Continue reading “The Last HOPE: Social Engineering”

SXSW Panels

The SXSW panel picker is live, and I proposed two panels. If you’re going, or you might go, or you just like voting for things, please have a look and consider voting for my proposals. You’ll have to create an account to vote, but it should be pretty painless. Here are the descriptions of the panels I proposed:

When the Semantic Web Meets User Generated Metadata

The Semantic Web promises to make the internet smarter, in part by adding structure and definition around the content on the web. Sounds great, but who’s going to do all the work? As User Generated Content gives rise to User Generated Metadata, turns out it’s going to be… YOU! (Click here to vote for it)

Content Content Revolution: The Rise of Content Strategy

What’s Content Strategy, you ask? Navigation, publishing guidelines, taxonomy, syndication, style guides, UGC strategy, the semantic web? All this and more! Come hear some of the leading content strategy professionals discuss where this emerging discipline came from, why it matters, and where it’s going. (Click here to vote for it)

On another note, I didn’t get a chance to post my fourth (and last) post about The Last HOPE before I went out of town for the weekend, and I forgot to bring my notes. So that will have to wait until I get back next week.

The Last HOPE: Hacker History

The history-oriented panels at HOPE were very interesting, especially for someone like me who was kind of new to the scene. I am particularly interested in the aspect of history that pinpoints the people and moments where someone looked at something, ignored the expected mode of interaction, and made the creative leap to invent a whole new way of seeing, thinking and using the thing.

Continue reading “The Last HOPE: Hacker History”