I have published a (rushed, but I can never get my mind still enough to do this properly…) very early proposal for a new document format. Your comments would be very much appreciated indeed:
Frode asks (Facebook status update, 20151027) “Is interactivity a crucial or trivial part of text, in terms of knowledge work?”
The trivial superficial response is “trivial”. The deeper crucial response is “crucial”. But beyond the wordplay gamification:
I’ll respond in terms of “how we experience text”.
When I am “reading” as in “consuming text”, inasmuch as “text” can appear like what used to be called “paper”, and inasmuch as paper could be viewed as “non-interactive”, then the answer here would be on the “trivial” side of the question.
Insofar as we are LIVE, as in living beings, and living beings shift focus from object / issue to object / issue, and physically move, and receive dynamic stimuli from varied sources… then as we “experience text”, we will need to contend with a number of distractions, and attend to a number of ancillary needs, as we try to extract as much meaning and understanding as possible from that text.
- For example, I may encounter a topic, concept, or term that I am unfamiliar with. I may most optimally need to divert myself to addressing that knowledge gap so that I can then optimally experience the original text / document with the best possible frame of mind to leverage that text for whatever purposes.
- In another example, I may want to drill into a particular presentation or line of reasoning, and may want to “lay it out” spatially, or reorganize it some way, so I can look at associated “nodes” or “chunks” of knowledge, to really follow implications and make the most of the connection points between the material and my existing mental model.
- I may need to put my ingest of the material (reading) on “pause”, as life gets in the way of my full attention. After the distraction, I may need to reconstruct my mental context, which may have been lost while I dealt with the demands of that life distraction.l
- I may want to create a citation, or note, or “transclusion” of some sort… so that I can add a snippet or the entire work into my “personal knowledge repository”.
- I’m sure I can come up with more use cases…
So my more serious response is that interactivity is a key enabling mode that can be designed, optimized, adapted, etc. so that knowledge work can be as effective as possible.
I’ll start with understanding clearly what I want to achieve.
- What do I want my reader to “take away” after reading my writing?
Create a workable plan that will achieve that / those result(s)
- What progression of content (to be created or curated / cited) will create that line of reasoning and shift in mental model?
- What could make it most compelling?
- Where shall I put this contribution / artifact?
Create an artifact with this plan.
- The plan is a set of TODO items for the artifact
- This plan is metacontent.
- As sections of content get created, the metacontent can be “checked off” and made invisible
- The metacontent can evolve as the content evolves. It’s essentially the “backlog” for the content creation project
- Appendix / Final section: Where this document exists on the Internet. What single location is authoritative?
Once the metacontent has dwindled to “nothing”, the document / artifact is DONE.
When discussing application, infrastructures, protocols, messaging, etc. it is necessary to precisely agree on semantics of expressions in order to avoid “mistakes”. However, HTML as a representation format has survived largely due to its ability to “tolerate” expressions that are not understood… the browser just ignores those expressions. That has allowed “backward compatibility” of HTML and browser versions, as new language constructs can be introduced that are just seamlessly (mostly) just ignored by older browsers.
Recently, Frode has introduced a need to discuss representation formats. One very strong reason Frode likes HTML is this ability to tolerate expressions that are not currently understood.
Sam (I) was asked by Frode today “If you went off on your own today with $2M+ to build something, what would you build?” I recalled my early 90’s desire to build a “spreadliner” – an application (we thought in terms of apps in those days) that could take a chunk of text, and allow those memes to be spread out spatially so that visual relationships could be depicted (not just mind-mapped), and also have individual nodes / chunks / memes that could be attributed so that they could be viewed in tabular, or spreadsheet, views. Fundamentally, I (Sam) seek knowledge representation that can allow multiple presentation modes (Doug calls them viewspecs), clearly separating the KNOWLEDGE from the PRESENTATION OF THAT KNOWLEDGE. (reference here to GlobalSIM vs GlobalVIZ).
In order that the knowledge be presentable in multiple views, we must design knowledge representation in such a way that metadata required for one view be non-harmful to the fundamental knowledge object, or to other views.
What is still a question is WHERE this metadata ought be located. Is it a part of the knowledge itself? Arguably, it is NOT essential to the knowledge itself, but to the viewspec / presentation mode that is being applied at viewtime.
More to be mulled…
We each have our own diction, aka language. We use terms the way we understand them, regardless of whether they are completely consistent with the “correct” dictionary definitions. For basic everyday terms, this usually is not a problem, and usually no difficulty in the course of human interactions.
In domains with specialization of terms, eg. medicine, construction, sciences, and other highly skilled and technical areas of activity, these differences in meaning / definition / usage / implication / etc. can lead to project complications and even failures, if not caught and managed well.
Dictipedia is a toolset and set of practices that recognize and facilitate that “we each travel with our own language”, and that when we come together to collaborate, or to form teams, bringing these “languages” together is a necessary step in team formation.
- Recognizes that we each have terms and phrases that carry certain meanings to each of us as individuals
- Recognizes that we have potentially conflicting or at least inconsistent meanings when we use the same terms and phrases
- Recognizes that explicating these terms and phrase differences for discussion and eventual resolution is a Good Thing in team formation
- Recognizes that as we go from team to team, we pick up and migrate terms and phrases and bring them into our next teams
- Assists in bringing forth the discussions necessary to align terms, phrases, and concepts
- Assists in tracing the derivation of meanings from individual to individual, team to team, etc.
- Assists in bringing language to the fore as a key First Class Object in team formation
- Assists in disambiguating language so that the team can be in flow as quickly as possible
A dictipedia (noun) is an asset of an individual. A dictipedia is an asset of a team. Allowing teams to form with multiple individuals from potentially different backgrounds, and for teams to form, execute, dissolve, etc. is a key tenet of dictipedia’s services.
Much more coming…
WYSIWYDo is the infrastructure (tooling, applications, protocols, practices, principles,…) to support atomic-level collaboration: The 2-person agreement. WYSIWYDo is intended to scale from this micro-level to macro-level collaboration at global scale.
- WYSIWYDo incorporates a basic state model for collaborative interactions. It is simple, but extensible.
- WYSIWYDo recommends a protocol for negotiating (exploring, requesting, confirming, executing, confirming, closing) action items.
- WYSIWYDo incorporates an extension model whereby it can integrate seamlessly with other applications and services.
- WYSIWYDo will be available on the web, as well as on mobile devices in order to always be available to support collaborative interactions.
Much more to be added here… This is just a placeholder start.
Tweach is an experiment in crowdsourcing life lessons, HOWTO’s, etc. and an attempt to leverage “big data” to come up with how we can guide ourselves and our next generations, based on what previous generations have learned and passed on. It’s an attempt to use Twitter (mostly, though other social media forums could work as well) to share what we learned when.
- … lots to be defined
Each of us posts what we learned, with one of these tags. Once enough of us do this, there’s lots to be done with “big data” and pattern analysis to compile very interesting complement to “wikipedia”. Obviously this grows and morphs over time and contributions.
Here’s a quick version of how we’ve (Amigos) agreed to utilize KFJournal.org:
- We each will blog wherever we are most comfortable.
- If it’s NOT at KFJournal, we will post a link to that blog at KFJournal
- Add your blog to a category. If no category exists, create one if you think it’s sensible and appropriate.
- If you want to COMMENT or review another’s blog, do it there (where it is originally posted), or write in your favorite blogging location, and link to it, citing the article you are reviewing / commenting on.
Follow on to: “Thanks to Frode”
Here’s an example RoE for a project team I ran a few years ago: Gucci
We will revise this as we need.