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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.


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    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    Peaceful burbling

    In his latest Information Architecture column for JASIST, Peter Morville (president of Semantic Studios and author of Ambient Findability) has travelled back to his literary origins and forward to - well, he's not sure where he (and we) may end up - in search of an appropriate new metaphor. I don't think its strictly an IA column - it seems almost to suggest information without architecture - but it does look forward (I mean in the sense of crystal-ball gazing; I'm not sure whether he is really anticipating with joy!) to the Web 2.0-world of a
    boundary-spanning passion for findability that flies over the walls of engineering, marketing and design, and sails far beyond the safe harbor of the World Wide Web.

    Peter goes on to explain that the title of his book comes from the Web 2.0 (and Library 2.0) idea of information that can be found anytime, anywhere - the martini world, as someone said! Quoting Weinberger’s words: "Everything grows miscellaneous" and "Data becomes metadata", he arrives at "ubiquitous findable objects (UFOs)" - objects which create and use their own metadata, network with other UFOs ("Was there every really a time when books didn't talk to each other?" Pratchett), and - presumably - pop up on a human-computer interface from time to time in order to perform a local task or impart wisdom: an info-avatar that answers questions before they are conceived!

    If, as suggested, UFOs are 'coming soon', it seems to me that the metaphors will not be navigation and information architecture but 'anticipation' and 'information genetics'. Presumably information literacy will be replaced by revelation literacy!

    Oh, and my title also comes from Peter Morville's piece!

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