Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Web 2.0, CVs, and language

Peter Morville has posted an interview in which he discusses what Web 2.0 means -- I usually enjoy Peter's blogs and books; and this is no exception, I find his observation that Web 2.0 is "as much about attitude as technology" right on; and his comment that this change in attitude is about "relaxing control over the data, the interface, and the experience. It’s about taking risks, admitting mistakes, and continuously improving with the help of your users", should have serious consequence for KO research and practice, especially if one, as Peter, is "painfully aware of the challenges of language and representation. Our best attempts to structure knowledge and manage meaning through the creation of controlled vocabularies and thesauri have fallen far short of the ideal". As I have argued a few times, for instance at the NASKO 2007 conference, we have to realize that there is no one system, no one way to organize information (and stuff), no one way that is better or more correct than other ways... (although there are, of course, obviously wrong ways...), which in turns means that we have rethink the purpose of KO systems and our approach to thinking and talking about them. The challenge is: how do we expand the tradition of KO to include the attitude of Web 2.0?

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