Saturday, 12 December 2009

On The Acquisition Of Knowledge 2/2

In my last blog post I talked about what to do with the information you get. This will be about how to get information

There's data, and there's information
Search engines like Google search and aggregate data thereby enabling it to become information, which is invaluable, but not too easy. Googling is an art, and requires skill
Human "engines" such as Wikipedia explicitly present information in the best possible and moderated way. Wiki is an absolute fantastic source of information for everyone in the entire world (I just can't stress that enough) where even the hottest debates are held

There's now also social networks, with millions of people asking questions and giving answers and opinions every day. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. All that could be called a Black Cloud: what's happening in there? There are individuals, groups, communities, all exchanging information, engaging, real-time, and you can't or don't have access to it
Did you ever see a search result direct you to LinkedIn, or Facebook? Or even to the publicly available Twitterstream?

We need to keep these worlds together. The fully searchable digital world and the locked-in digital world where knowledge is shared but kept inside. I'm not talking private communities or networks of course, they must always be respected. But disagreements usually stem from an unbalance in information, apart from the perception on that information.

Very coincidental how Google announced real-time search while I thought about this blog 3 weeks ago. I must be psychic, and consider another job?

Right now, I feel pretty much the same as when I encountered and read my favourite spiritual book: lost for words
Still, there's the distinction between data and information. We need information, not data. And we actually don't need information, we'd like knowledge. Drive-Through Knowledge, to be exact, at our fingertips. But that's food for another blog, maybe. To be continued...

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