Web of data — third of five IA Summit 2007 themes

(Here’s the third post on the 2007 IA Sum­mit. You can find the first one that intro­duces the series and describes the first theme ‘tan­gi­ble’ here and the sec­ond one on ‘social’ here.)

Typ­i­cal­ly, IAs have con­cerned them­selves with the design of web sites. The metaphor most suit­ed and used for the web so far has been space. Even the term ‘infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture’ points to this. Nowa­days, besides hav­ing to tack­le the social dimen­sion (as per the pre­vi­ous trend men­tioned) IAs are forced to rethink the spa­tial metaphor in favour of a new one: the web as plat­form. This means design­ing for a web of data, where sites become data sources and tools to view and manip­u­late that data. This is a far cry from the old hier­ar­chi­cal mod­el. Like design for social soft­ware, IAs are still explor­ing this new ter­ri­to­ry.

There was an excel­lent pan­el on this sub­ject (notes and audio at The Chick­en Test), with amongst oth­ers Tom Coates and Matt Bid­dulph (both pre­vi­ous­ly employed by the BBC). Coates’ pre­sen­ta­tions (Native to a Web of Data and Greater than the sum of its parts) are essen­tial resources. He gave a super short overview of what design­ing for the web of data is all about. Matt went beyond screen based media into the realm of phys­i­cal com­put­ing (see the first trend) show­ing some cool exam­ples of Arduino pro­to­types feed­ing into Sec­ond Life.

Jared Spool talked about the usabil­i­ty chal­lenges of web 2.0 and focussed on (among many things) the short­com­ings of RSS and the dan­gers of mash-ups. RSS as a tech­nol­o­gy is pret­ty cool, but no nor­mal user intu­itive­ly under­stands its appli­ca­tion. This is a tech­nol­o­gy still look­ing for a killer app. Mash-ups are typ­i­cal­ly made by enthu­si­as­tic ama­teurs look­ing to com­bine avail­able data sources or inter­faces. This means we’ll see a wave of sites with seri­ous usabil­i­ty issues. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing per se, but still some­thing to look out for.

Paris mashed up

Street art hero Banksy strikes again: he’s spread 500 mashed up copies of Paris Hilton’s new album through 48 record stores in the UK. This excel­lent video shows how he goes about Pho­to­shop­ping and past­ing up the book­let, insert­ing a new CD and sneak­ing it into an HMV shop. The music on the spoof album was cre­at­ed by hip-hop pro­duc­er Dan­ger Mouse.

Shot of mashed up Paris booklet

Guys like him make life in the 21st cen­tu­ry slight­ly more bear­able; Banksy proves ordi­nary cit­i­zens can pro­vide some coun­ter­weight to mass media with well-exe­cut­ed and high­ly tar­get­ed actions. HMV doesn’t agree: “It’s not the type of behav­iour you’d want to see hap­pen­ing very often”.

Thanks to Bart for the heads-up.

Remix en auteursrecht (open.info.nl)

Onlangs ver­scheen een aardig artikel in het Tijd­schrift voor Mar­ket­ing van de hand van Fer­ry den Dopper, waarin een aan­tal web 2.0 aspecten wor­den uit­gelegd aan mar­ke­teers. Eén van die aspecten is remix – het fenomeen waar­bij één of meerdere web­sites wor­den gebruikt als basis voor een nieuwe dienst. Den Dopper staat daar­bij heel kort stil bij de juridis­che impli­caties van deze waardeto­evoeg­ing door der­den. “Some rights reserved” schri­jft hij en citeert daar­bij het Cre­ative Com­mons-ini­ti­atief.”

Lees verder op open.info.nl »