Information Architecture

Information Architecture

Eight steps to thriving on information overload

Eight steps to thriving on information overload: "There is no quick fix; enhancing our skills requires effort and is an ongoing process. Implementing the following principles can make a real difference to your effectiveness in dealing with the new reality of information overload..."

1. Set information objectives.

4. Filter aggressively.

8. Sleep on it!

Law = Code

An interesting story over at the O'Reilly Radar gives insight into the structure of text, specifically the structure of law versus something that, at first, seems completely different: computer programming.

By visually representing texts from Project Gutenberg, the Windows kernel, and the US Code, patterns emerge. The somewhat surprising result? Law is far more structured and patterned than computer code.

Librarians urged to play more video games

madcow writes ""[T]here's no doubt that libraries have embraced technology. But speakers said that there was a larger split between students - who are "digital natives," in one popular way of classifying people based on their experience with technology - and librarians, who are more likely to be "digital immigrants." They may have learned the language, but it’s a second language." So says the article at Inside Higher Ed.

"So if this hierarchical model doesn't reach today's students, what will?

James Paul Gee, a linguist who is the Tashia Morgridge Professor of Reading at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the author of Why Video Games Are Good for Your Soul, argued that librarians need to adapt their techniques to digital natives. A digital native would never read an instruction manual with a new game before simply trying the game out, Gee said. Similarly, students shouldn't be expected to read long explanations of tools they may use before they start experimenting with them.""

What would be the Web, if Librarians Designed it?

Devadason writes ""Facet Analysis and Semantic Web" is the topic of a write-up available at:

This Site.

It examines the recent developments towards "Semantic Web" and discusses the need to take the Librarians' solutions and experience in handling information. Web is no longer just a communication medium, it is a global information system."

Information Architecture 3.0

Peter Morville says Next year, after the bubble bursts, we will enter the era of Information Architecture 3.0. This won’t surprise Tim O’Reilly who slyly positioned the polar bear atop the #1 Google hit for Web 2.0 and commissioned the third edition just in time to clean up the mess.

In fact, this future is self-evident in the undisciplined, unbalanced quest for sexy Ajaxian interaction at the expense of usability, findability, accessibility, and other qualities of the user experience.

IA Institute Board of Directors: Call for Nominations

The Information Architecture Institute seeks nominations for members to serve on the 2006-2007 IAI Board of Directors. There are seven members of the Board of Directors and four open positions for this board term. Nominations are being acceped until August 31, with the election following in September. If you are interested in serving on the Board, you may nominate yourself, or if you know someone who you think will be an asset to the organization, you may nominate that person. Please contact membership AT for more information or a link to the nomination form.

Subscribe to the free IAI Newsletter for monthly updates from the institute, including notices about conferences, workshops, volunteer opportunities and job postings.

Publisher, be very, very afraid?

SEO Google sent over an interesting one By Tim O'Reilly. He says Publishers need to get with the opportunity [electronic libraries], not be afraid of it! The role of "publishing" is rediscovered in each new medium after a period in which everyone argues that the playing field has been leveled once and for all.

Corporate Alzheimer's: Coping With Forgotten File Formats Asks What if the file formats in which we save text documents, spreadsheets, charts and presentations -- all that stuff generated by so-called productivity software -- were not supported by future versions of the programs used to create them today, or by some as-yet-unimagined successor products? Could drifting file formats cause a kind of corporate Alzheimer's that threatens our ability to recall contracts, insurance policies, financial records, payroll data and other critical documents?

Access alas poor access where art thou

inicola writes "I would like to share a pet peeve of mine. I really hate the access issues in most library softwares that access fulltext. I don't think that they are nearly as trck enough to get students interested in them. When in the recent conversation with a cowarker it came up that perhaps one of the reasons for the access as a continuing issue was perhaps that we did not voice our needs or better yeat our clients needs well.

I will state the dread phrase without naming names, "search engines"

No one intends by proprietary nature to make a product poorly but the difference between library and other business softwares begs the question "why?"

Since one of my goals while working in a library was to help the patron navigate and access information I remain perplexed and disappoint at what search engines seem to do so much faster in the mind of the patron...I site a Bisson article of customer perceptions of libraries and search engines...

See the article I refer to:

OCLC Report: Libraries vs. Search Engines

Let's not beat a dead horse, but let us consistently ask for self aware software, that uses technology to the best of it's potential for directing the most patrons to their target resource efficiently...

Speed is relative and the mark and finish line to what is acceptable in retrieval situation will change as long as someone out in the great "out there" can find, make, suggest a better way...

Yay for paraprofessionals in the mix, because sometimes I think we underestimate our influence and our numbers..."

Father of Wiki Speaks Out on Community and Collaborative Development

Search Engines Web tells us that Ward Cunningham, who created the Wiki concept more than ten years ago, is (surprise, surprise) an advocate of collaboration and publicly available information. The article cited includes a lot of background on where the concept came from, but in amongst the buzzwords like "agile development" might be a message for libraries about patron expectations in the future.

"I'm betting on open source being a big trend," Cunningham said, chuckling at his understatement. "And it's not just because of cost, but because of end-user innovation. No end user wants to be a programmer; they just want to get their jobs done," he said. But more and more people with powerful tools and powerful languages will be able to work together to build better systems, he said.

Taxonomy of sequels, remakes, and adaptations

Over at Strange Horizons, James Schellenberg ponders the question, "If there are too many books, then why is it so hard to find a worthwhile one to read?" Considering the various strategies we employ in winnowing out, from the vast array of options available, the next book to read or the next movie to see, Schellenberg suggests that a sequel to a known work can offer a shortcut for the chooser. But of course even the realm of sequels is loaded with too many options and variations ... so Schellenberg proposes a taxonomy of sequels, remakes, and adaptations.

From Schellenberg's article:

I'm a librarian by training, and I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, so my obsessive side (less politely: my nerdy side) often gets a workout. I was contemplating the proliferation of sequels and their ilk -- mostly when people argue about this stuff, it's to judge between the items. For example, are sequels written by other people inherently worse than sequels written by the original creator? But any argument needs to have its terms defined.

So here is a taxonomy.

Read the article and the taxonomy: "Sequels, Remakes, Adaptations," by James Schellenberg.

(Note that Schellenberg solicits comment and plans to maintain an updated copy of the taxonomy at his website.)

WikiPedia English Published One Millionth Article

Search Engines Web writes:
"The Wikimedia Foundation announced today the creation of the 1,000,000th article in the English language edition of Wikipedia. The article is about the Jordanhill railway station in Scotland, and it was started by Wikipedia contributor Ewan Macdonald. Wikipedia is a free, multilingual, online encyclopedia with 3.3 million articles under development in more than 125 languages."

how not to design a library for the blind

ADHD_librarian writes "aftenposten reports that the Norwegian Sound and Braille Library is a fantastic library building, unless you happen to be blind. Were you blind (as their target audience may be) you might find it "combining classical neo-Georgian features with the efficiency of modern techniques. The tenants arrive here and are carried along the corridor on a conveyor belt in extreme comfort, past murals depicting mediterranean scenes, towards the rotating knives. The last twenty feet of the corridor are heavily soundproofed. The blood pours down these chutes and the mangled flesh slurps into..." 9225.ece"

Information Format Trends

pamplemousse writes "

From OCLC is this (undated) report: 2004 Information Format Trends: Content, Not Containers ... examines the "unbundling of content" from traditional containers (books, journals, CDs) and distribution methods (postal mail, resource sharing). As the boundaries blur between content, technology and the information consumer, the report shows how format now matters less than the information within the container.


Categorizing weblogs

On October 14, Dave Pollard wrote in his blog about the Open Directory Project (ODP) and the taxonomy challenges of weblogs. Are personal weblogs, which often cover many topics, uncategorizable? If not, where in the ODP should they be listed?

Internet Archive Given DMCA Exemption

From writes: "An Excerpt from article about Internet Archive's fight against copyright restrictions at:

Internet Archive has copyright problems

THE DIGITAL Millennium Copyright Act is proving a headache for those hoping to preserve software and data.

The US Internet Archive, which makes archival copies of software and data, said it was technically impossible to do its job because of the Act which forbids copying software.

Because the life of a magnetic disk is only 10 to 30 years, the Archive would have to copy the stuff every few years to preserve it which would be illegal.

This week the group announced on its site here that the Copyright Office has ordered a temporary exemption for the group’s work.

[Links embedded above: ]

AIfIA announces info architecture mentoring program

Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture (AIfIA) has just launched a mentoring initiative designed to create mutually beneficial relationships between novice and experienced information architects.

"Let's face it: information architecture is a new field, and it remains difficult to learn about," said Louis Rosenfeld, AIfIA's treasurer. "Our collective experiences haven't yet been captured as a body of literature, there are few academic IA programs where one can gain formal education, and there is only one industry-wide conference per year. That's why we need to connect people who have experience with people who don't, and that's the goal of AIfIA's Mentoring Initiative."

Mentees must be AIfIA members, but mentors are not required to be.

Find out more about the IA Mentoring Initiative.

Learn how to handle information overload

The Salt Lake Tribune has a story about information overload and some suggestions for how to handle it.
Read full story here.

"The reason people feel overwhelmed with information is because there is an uncomfortable internal feeling because they can't take it all in -- they don't have the 'mental furniture' to set it down."

Facet classification for web sites

I am more and more often involved in website (re)designs projects, where teams are struggling with navigation and structuring.
Often they haven't given much thought to the website structure and now are forced to redesign after complaints.

I usually point out to basic articles on taxonomies and facet classification. Facet classification is very suited for structuring websites.
One of the best bibliographies can be found here

Information architecture group announces 2004 goals

Following up on a member survey conducted in December 2003 (see LISNews article), Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture (AIfIA) has posted "AIfIA Goals 2004", presenting the organization's goals and objectives for 2004, as well as detailed lists of active and proposed projects. The AIfIA Annual Report 2002-2003 is also available.


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