Findability, Discoverability and Marketing

May 31, 2012

Most discussions about the value of metadata move quickly to proclaim that metadata is essential to discoverability. Discoverability is rarely defined: we’re left with the vague sense suggested by its root word “discover”. (more…)

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Millions Terrified by One Long Unbroken String of English Words

March 9, 2010

Courtesy of Bob McArthur I learned that in today’s online the Onion you’ll find the headline “Nation Shudders At Large Block Of Uninterrupted Text.”

Can you blame them?


                                                                                                                               From the Onion

Boston resident Charlyne Thomson said, “Why won’t it just tell me what it’s about?” There are no bullet points, no highlighted parts. I’ve looked everywhere—there’s nothing here but words.” 500 of them in fact!

Detroit local Janet Landsman said, “I’m sure if it’s important enough, they’ll let us know some other way. After all, it can’t be that serious. If there were anything worthwhile buried deep in that block of impenetrable English, it would at least have an accompanying photo of a celebrity or a large humorous title containing a pop culture reference.”  

Added Landsman, “Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t even have a point.”

In humour lies truth.

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The Information Explosion Updated

September 12, 2009

One of the most consistently popular sections of my site is the “Influence” article on the Information Explosion. It well-illustrates the division I make between “Industries” and “Influences”. The information explosion is not, per se, an industry, but it certainly has an enormous impact on the future of publishing and the web. That’s why I’ve tried to keep these divisions: let the “influences” inform the “industries.” Then the picture is more clear for each of us.

This revision brings is some updated data on the rate of increase of digital data. (I do make a distinction between “data” and “information.” I think of a comparison to cooking. Flour, sugar, yeast, etc. form the equivalent of data; bread is the information that results.)

I cite numerous new sources. I’m continuing the practice of making the article available as a PDF dowload for those who prefer a more leisurely viewing (or a better-contructed printout).

You’ll see after the pithy quotations at the beginning of the article a fun Flash object caled the Worldwide Information Growth Ticker that purports to illustrate the total number of bytes created since January 1, 2009.

You can also download a small application to calculate your personal digital footprint. Here’s mine:


The topic fontinues to fascinate me. Enjoy!

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