Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Web 3.0 tools for both structured and unstructured information

I very much enjoyed reading the article from Nova Spivak on
'Minding the Planet' and responding on his site. There is much
that he writes that I simply and strongly resonate with. His article
is a 'must read' for futurists


I have also included my response to his article here, as I would welcome further comment and feedback on the direction Web 3.0 tools need to take.


I certainly agree with your views on collective intelligence and helping to enable a better world. I agree with your distinction between information and knowledge and how we can look forward to technologies helping us to develop explicit knowledge on the web through multiple connections in context.

When I founded my km consulting firm, Knowledge Associates in 1993, in Cambridge UK, we thought we had the tools and answers to help individuals, teams and organizations better manage their knowledge.

We had no problem at all with tools to help people better capture, store, share, better collaborate, and amplify their knowledge. That works well.

The problem started higher up the km process, with getting organizations to invest in, and getting people to want to create, more meaning through effective ontologies metadata, etc. The problem centred around the ‘harvesting of new learnings and ideas’, and then turning this into better knowledge.

I welcome and support your view that people will now, to a degree, create their own metadata and tagging e.g. flickr and del.icio.us examples. I also welcome new developments in semantic metadata creation tools and techniques.

The other development I observed, whilst chairing many km conferences in Europe, was the debate on the development of content meaning, between ‘structured’ information tools based on logic and metadata on the one hand, and ‘unstructured’ information tools based on pattern recognition, statistical probability theory, and automatic metadata creation, on the other hand.

This reminded me of the analogy with the two hemispheres of the brain. For the brain to function well, in sensing, interpreting and creating meaning, it needs both the logical, digital, interpretation, and it needs the illogical, analog interpretation. I came to the conclusion that the next wave of tools needed both/and and not either/or.

It seems that your thinking has come a long way towards this, since then.

Once these tools are available, I believe that we will then move to the next level of, both people and machines, being able to harvest new learnings and ideas and truly create new knowledge faster and better than ever before.

That’s the quantum leap for me!

Good luck with your developments and tools for 2007.

Ron Young


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