There has been much hullabaloo around web 2.0 and the growth of applications have been apparent in the form of new ones or mash-ups that fulfill user needs (initial WSJ list here, more comprehensive list from Ventureblog here).
Through the many approaches and applications and with some being exactly the same as the rest, here's to unsolicited feedback–a suggested vision and initial specification blueprint that integrates web 2.0 solutions.
The solution focuses on a way to harness collective intelligence for the improvement of search and providing ease in the discovery of information, all while encouraging the maximum utilization of resources from the user to the service provider.
The approach will be based on 2 processes at work in the use of the web as an information source and collaborative tool:
Data/Information Transformation Cycle
Data is information when it becomes useful to a user.
Discovery and creation stage
Data generated or information is discovered
Acceptance and filtering
Data becomes useful to the user. Information that supports one’s own mental maps or biases is organized. Information collected here helps form the basis of conclusions and assumptions that lead to beliefs and actions (see also ladder of inference).
Modification and output/publishing
Information is modified, bringing into it pieces of other information absorbed or integrated consciously or unconsciously and shared.
Figure 1 – Data/Information Transformation Cycle
The solution will be sustained by utility levers through the data/information transformation cycle as well as supported by the Ladder of Inference, an interpretation of the way in which we make sense of data, information and experiences.
The Ladder of Inference
Devised by Chris Argyris and presented in Peter Senge's "The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization," the diagram below illustrates how most individuals will have been accustomed to the formation of inferences or often misguided beliefs from the tacit and selective acceptance of data in lieu of our mental models.
Figure 2a – Ladder of Inference (http://www.actiondesign.com/)
Figure 2b – Ladder of Inference (http://www.systems-thinking.org)
Using both models or diagrams, the following tools comprise that possible solution:
An annotation tool at the discovery and creation stage, a client desktop tool at the acceptance & filtering stage, and finally, backend functions and processes at the modification, personalization and output stage that support the integrative vision and allow it to really manifest.