By JAdP on June 18th, 2005
We are very interested in any tool that helps folk live the teleinteractive lifestyle by making it easier for distributed workgroups to exchange information quicker, more accurately, better in any way. As such, we've been closely following Dave Winer's revelations about the outlining tool that works as an OPML editor and can be used as an Instant Outliner to coördinate communication among members of group(s). So, I was instantly struck by the serendipity when I saw that Michael Swaine writes in the July 2005 Swaine's Flames:
"E-mail is a linear list or hierarchy of nearly opaque envelopes containing further linear lists of character symbols to be decoded into mental speech. When the filters fail and the subject lines mislead, we have to commit to open the envelope and start reading and interpreting the message before we know if it is deserving of our attention...
"The cocktail-party phenomenon is really two phenomena: (1) In the raucous confusion of party noise, we are somehow able to hear the conversation we choose to attend to and filter out the rest; and (2) there appears to be some subattentive monitoring of unattended channels so that significant content (like your name) in an unattended channel can shift attention to it...
"What if the defining metaphor for e-mail were not the United States Postal Service but a cocktail party?"
--Party Lines Dr. Dobb's Journal July, 2005, Michael Swaine
I do believe that the instant outliner, also being referred to as Really Simple Groupware, fits that defining metaphor very well.
- I've posted a call...
- Help us finish...
- BTW, Dave Luebbert, who's working with me...
- Today's Sexy Dialogue
- What is a home page?
- A Powerful Idea, Time is Right Read the comments here
- Instant Outlining
- Approximately 42 people...
We've been using the Brainforest outliner on the Palm now for years. And I know that Dave had an interest in PalmOS outliners some time ago. I can't wait to see how outlining as an instant form of collaboration coördination pans out as a part of Web 2.0.
Dave - we're not currently hosting an OPML directory as such, and we're not going to Gnomedex, but if Clarise and I can help in any way, let us know.
Cellphedia, according to its home page, is "the 1st Ubiquitous Social Encyclopedia". Think of it as a cross between Wikipedia and online social networks, for your cell phone. This was developed as part of founder's Limor Garcia graduate thesis at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program. Right now it seems more suited to trivia questions, but as the knowledgebase grows, I believe that the utility will grow as well. It will be interesting to see if she seeks to grow it as a business, how that business fares, and the direction the cellphedia community takes as it grows.
One thing missing from Ray Ozzie's interesting article, "A technologist looks back, looks ahead" in C|Net News.com about collaboration technologies' impact on business, government and the individual, is consideration of mobile and wireless technologies. On the 20 years anniversary of the software best known as Lotus Notes, he looks at the future, and how increased bandwidth to the home and terabyte level storage capabilities in the home will further the evolution of work and the workplace.
What I find most fascinating about this evolution is how many in both developed and developing nations, have the opportunity to "have it their way". We can live where we want, or need to, and find work throughout the world. Could Western society actually evolve past the trends brought about by the Industrial Revolution, to something more Agrarian in nature?
One problem brought about by this evolution, that many of us need to address is focus. As our work day becomes broken into 2 hours here and 4 hours there, as the amount of time spent working continues to increase, and as we are simultaneously in contact with business associates, friends and family, the ability to focus on one thing, and screen out the others becomes more important. The workplace won't exist in the future to do that for us.
Another interesting result may quite well be the decline of the USA as the leading economic power on the planet. India, China or some developing ex-soviet block nation may well supplant this country economically.