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Ambient Findability

Today we are not faced with lack of information; instead we are faced with information overload. In this age of information explosion we are bombarded with information. So we must develop skills and formulate sound strategies to deal with the information explosion.

To be competitive and good in one’s chosen profession, one need to be up-to-date on what is happening in his/her field. One has to keep abreast of the latest developments and emerging technologies. In today’s information era, information workers need to read to do justice to their profession—they should have current and accurate information about their area(s) of specialization. They should be aware of the latest developments and trends in their chosen field. One should also have a reasonably good awareness about what is happening in the world. For all these one should have the ability to read, absorb and assimilate the information that is available from myriad sources—newspapers, journals, magazines, electronic newsletters, e-zines, web sites, and so on.

We should develop the ability to wade through the vast ocean of information available and zero in on the information that we need. How do you find your way in an age of information overload? How can you filter streams of complex information to pull out only what you want? Why does it matter how information is structured when Google seems to magically bring up the right answer to your questions? What does it mean to be “findable” in this day and age? This eye-opening new book examines the convergence of information and connectivity. The book defines our current age as a state of unlimited findability. In other words, anyone can find anything at any time.

The author discusses the Internet, GIS, and other network technologies that are coming together to make unlimited findability possible. He explores how the melding of these innovations impacts society, since Web access is now a standard requirement for successful people and businesses. But before he does that, Morville looks back at the history of ‘wayfinding’ and human evolution, suggesting that our fear of being lost has driven us to create maps, charts, and now, the mobile Internet.

The book has seven chapters, a preface and an index. The author bio tells us that Peter Morville is the president of Semantic Studio, an information architecture and findability consultancy firm and author of the best-selling book Information Architecture for the World Wide Web. The preface asks the readers to read the book and find out what the book is about and whether it is for them.

Chapter 1 (Lost and Found) explains the term findability and introduces of finable objects. It also discusses the values of ambient findability. The second chapter titled A Brief History of Wayfinding, explains the connection between animal and human navigation in natural and manmade environments. It also deals with the topic of transmedia wayfinding in the 21st century. Chapter 3—Information Interaction—explores and exposes the process of information-seeking behavior with the help of evolutionary psychology. The fourth chapter (Interwingled) explores findability, findable objects and wayfinding in this information age where computers, internet and intranets converge. The fifth chapter (Push and Pull) describes how findability and the Web are transforming the marketplace and creating new market rules and dynamics. Chapter 6 titled The Sociosemantic Web explains the connection between social software and the Semantic Web with the help of ontologies and taxonomies. The seventh chapter (Inspired Decision) concludes the journey through the highways and bylines of Web, AI, human behavior and irrational decision making.

The book illustrates and explains the various concepts using color illustration and photographs and real world examples. The clear and easy-to-read writing style is another attraction. This is book is a must read for all who are concerned with finding and disseminating information. The book will offer many insights into the power of the convergence of computers, Internet and information and how to make use of that power.

Book Details:

  • Editor: Peter Morville
  • Publisher: O’Reilly
  • Year: 2005
  • ISBN: 0596007655
  • Cover & Page Count: Paperback, 188 Pages

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