Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Information R/Evolution

I found this interesting video below on the Internet. It is about the latest development of information management, and terms it Information R/Evolution. The video is actually a condensed version of a lecture by Michael Wesch of Kansas State University. The tempo of the video is very fast, presenting a two-hour lecture into five minutes. I may as well take notes of the gist of the lecture to help catch what it says.

As civilization develops, we handle information better. Information management evolves over thousands of years. It came across an explosion at the verge of the digital age. The evolution changed into a revolution of the fundamental way we handle information.

The traditional view: Information is a thing. It has a logical place which it can be stored - book shelf, filing system, catalog, or microfilmed. It requires expert to manage but it is still hard to find.

Digital information has no fixed material form and thus is beyond material constraints. When information reaches the Internet, it can be accessed everywhere.

Early websites handled information in the traditional way, with a top node, categories and subjects. As information grows, the hierarchy becomes very complex. There are now more than 5 trillion words, and over 5 billion links.

Information cannot be contained by categories and subjects now. It can be searched by keywords. Information is stored by tags. With more than one tag it can be found in several places. Everything is miscellaneous. The tags are ways to find information.

Together we create more information than the experts. Wikipedia is information created by the mass. The English Wikipedia has 600 million words, about 15 times the Encyclopedia Britannia.

We have now changed the basic rules of information. We no longer find information. We make it find us. Services such as Digg, RSS and many others, collect and organize information we want and present it to us as information occurs.

The responsibility to harness information is on us. Are you ready?


  1. Dear Raymond,

    I learnt a great deal by spending 30 minutes on your blog. This is a great video.Thanks for sharing!

    Warmest regards,