Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Information managing: tracing information previously stored or searching for new? Semantic web implications

March 20th, 2008 by


Managing information overload

Lately, we were discussing the first steps toward semantic web (where Yahoo! left Google far behind). Addressing the need to manage information overload becomes apparent today, more than ever.

How do we practically manage information we care to store?

Crossing important information, we automatically use external tools for aid. Using bookmarks, we try to save our best findings, hoping for it to be reachable when we will need it. Sadly, we learn with experience, we must manage our bookmarks in order to trace what we put inside. Placing the information meets our immediate wish to store it but we pay little attention to the way our mind works.

Cognitive research can teach us a lot on this issue.

Everyday, we receive endless inputs which luckily our brain is capable of storing (just like our computers). Only, while we try to store the data – we are carelessly naming it (=coding) and are frequently storing it in “folders” we have little chance retrieving when needed. We actually forget not because the information was deleted but because we have no idea how we named it or where we placed it. That makes it impossible to retrieve.

So, how do we deal with this?

1. We can improve the way we organize.
Self improvement means that we need to be aware that the chances for finding our sources in the future are small unless we will build a well organized data storage construction and pay close attention to how we fit new data inside. Personally, I doubt we have sufficient time to do it right.

2. We can use improved external organization tools
Mashable addressed this problem and gathered tools to help you save your bookmarks.

3. We can start fresh, simply conduct new search.
Once we learn to trust search engines to understand our needs, we can actually abandon our instinct habit of storing it all. I think this will be one of the most important shifts we will achieve by the semantic web. Are we about to change an evolutionary based ritual, for a new effective method?

Now you – please try to introspect.

  • What are you actually doing when you need to find information you have previously gathered?
  • How much time you spend in trying to retrieve the old information you saved?
  • How often do you find yourself giving up searching for the “old” and start searching for “new”?
  • Can you imagine crossing with valuable information and skip storing it, out of belief you will always be able to come back to this or better?

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One Response

  1. tahatfield Says:

    Interesting and insightful…just read IBM’s Mike Rhodan’s predictions…apparently he has not been thinking of what semantics does for context.

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