Information Management

Diego Doval writes:

what I was thinking about was that no topics with any degree of depth can be properly discussed in one or two pages no matter how good you are and how much care you put into your writing; there just isn’t space enough to do things justice.

This made me wonder about more complex and consequential matters, which also get alloted similar amounts of space, and it reminds me that when I see an article on which I know the background, I can make a different judgment, but what about articles where there can be no background because it is evolving news? Until time passes, there is no other source of information on what’s going on aside from 1,500 word articles and 5-minute news clips. Overtime you get books, documentaries, etc, and more and more we’ve got weblogs to cover part of the picture. But the reality is that, for the most part, we’re still subject to the vision provided us by those brief news items. And that’s not enough.

I have a habit, which is to keep track of threads within newspapers and across them. I don’t do this formally (not that obsessive :)) but I do it. So what I was thinking was whether this idea of reading of “trails” of news on given topics is something that could be formalized in some way, and what would be the requirements. In true blog fashion, and since I have to get other things done, I will simply ask a bunch of questions, provide few if any answers, and then cart off riding my faithful donkey into the sunset, with my extra large sombrero, laptop in one hand, bottle of tequila–worm and all–in the other, under the fading desert sun.

Dann Sheridan thinks of Outlook as the information hub: “Numerous tools are coming together to make Outlook the application through which all of your information will flow. From RSS feeds (Newsgator) to publishing to your weblog (OutlookMT and Newsgator Plugins). My migration to MoveableType will make this all possible. I already have all of my faxes and voicemails coming into Outlook. Outside of RSS feeds and my weblog, the only other information streams I have are my Onfolio collections, which should be published as RSS feeds, exportable to OPML, and integrated into Outlook. A lot of people may ask why Outlook? Because that is where the major of my information email already resides. I want a single application through which I can control my world of information. It is the same reason why network operation centers, emergency response teams, and command! and control centers all what a single interface for their operators and staff: it keeps people focused.”

As I read both these, my thoughts went back to the Memex series I had written about a year ago. I think we really ought to think about getting it done…its what we need to manage the information flows.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.