Blog Past: Constructing the Memex

I wrote this six years ago – and the idea still lingers, though it is coming alive in different shapes and forms on the Web.

…Imagine if each of us could build out…personal directories – outlines of topics and connections to other directories, people and documents. Much of this would happen automatically as we browsed and marked pages of interest, embellishing them with our comments. When we search, it would first scan our world of relevant information rather than the world wide web of documents.

In other words, each of us would have a microcosm of the information space, created and updated continuously by what we did. It would ensure that our ideas would have a context, that we would never forget something, and that we could leverage on similar work done by millions of others like us. This is the real two-way web – linking not just documents, but people, ideas and information.

Vannevar Bush imagined just such a system – in 1945. He called it the Memex.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.