Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ambient Findability

Peter Morville, in this excellent interview with Atomiq's Gene Smith, discusses his book, Ambient Findability, tags, Web2.0, authority and a probable future when everything will be taggable and findable from web articles to the contents of your home or your bookshelf.

Sample these:
I hate tagging. It's too much work. It's so much easier to drag and drop an email message into a folder than it is to construct keywords that define its aboutness. And with respect to refindability, using Google Desktop's full text search is infinitely better than relying on the semantic poverty of tags.

[. . .]

In some ways, an article that's been frequently tagged in possesses more authority than a Wikipedia article that may have been written or re-written by a single ignorant user. I love the Wikipedia, but outside the most popular, highly edited articles, you've got to seriously question (and cross-reference) your sources.

[. . .]

For me, what's important, is that as a society we're beginning to examine what we mean by authority, and we're finding it's a very slippery concept. As I argue in Ambient Findability, "Like relevance, authority is subjective and ascribed by the viewer."

[. . .]

I may want to Google my possessions or the contents of my house or your bookshelf. Last week I went to the shopping mall for the first (and last) time this year. It was a horrible experience. I had to physically drag my body from store to store in search of a specific product. I desperately wanted to Google the Mall. And thanks to RFID, it may not be too long before that's possible.
Read: Peter Morville: the Tagsonomy interview.

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