Continuum of value of documents

This is another response to a post about the “shared drive problem.” Shiv Singh of Avenue A- Razorfish commented that “Every document in an organization is not necessarily important enough to tag. Some organizations address this problem by first determining what knowledge/information/data is worth capturing for retrieval and then putting KM mechanisms in place to capture, codify and distribute it.”

My thought is that there is a continuum of value of documents. On one end of the spectrum, news feeds, unmoderated discussion, etc. Chaotic but useful in terms of creativity and problem solving – ongoing discussions like this one. At the other end of the spectrum might be best practices, templates, methodologies – structured, scrubbed, edited and tagged. Higher value knowledge is more costly to vet, tag, file and maintain. A vast majority of documents fall somewhere in between. Many (perhaps most) are intermediary products. Since the value is context dependant (as others have mentioned) and may have value as a need arises, it’s very difficult to organize them without some judgment about current and future value. I’ve seen environments where documents were nominated to be example deliverables – someone thought the document would be useful to others. There was a process in place to measure submissions and people were somewhat incentivized to do so.

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Bizzare (effective? ) interfaces

Dan Linski of ad agency Slingshot ( posted some interesting and unusual user interfaces.

Though the first one had technical problems, the others are interesting and compelling (at least from a curiosity perspective). Perhaps what a consumer products company needs for audiences used to lots of graphics and stimulation. Or the type of thing that appeals to companies who think this is what they need to stand out.

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Thoughts in cages

In my mind, everything boils down to a name. We name things all the time in our day-to-day lives. We think in terms of categories, lists, things that need to be done. The essence of language is to represent concepts – representations of our thinking.

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