Hello, Del.icio.us!

(UPDATE, Apr. 20, 2005: Furl and Del.icio.us: Almost Perfect Together)

I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion that my current approach to providing lists of interesting links (via “grab bag” articles) is not sustainable. I’m forever behind. I’m serious. In archive, my CONTENTIOUS-to-do category was up to nearly 225 items!

Also, while it helped simplify presentation to group items into topical lists, that approach also has disadvantages – namely, I could only assign categories to the list as a whole, not to specific items in the list.

My goal with my grab bags has always been to enable my clients and readers to learn from my never-ending learning process. However, it simply takes too much time to write a blurb on every item I discover that’s worth sharing. If I fall too far behind in noting useful items, some of them lose the value of timeliness.

So here’s my solution: del.icio.us – an amazingly useful online tool I’ve long overlooked…

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Putting the US Budget in Context

In this weblog I talk quite a bit about the importance of context – how context allows us to create meaning from facts and opinions. Context is what allows each of us to evaluate information from a variety of perspectives, decide which angles are most meaningful to us, and then decide what (if anything) we wish to do or say in response.

Today in Washington DC, the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) is debuting President Bush’s proposal for the FY 2006 US federal budget. I realize that sounds like a bunch of boring numbers wrapped up in posturing – and to some extent, it is. However, I’d like to use this as an exercise to examine how context can create meaning…

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Why Disagreement is Good

One pioneer of the podcasting world is Dave Slusher, creator of Evil Genius Chronicles. In his Jan 4 show, Dave strongly disagreed with the main theme of my Jan 1 audio edition – that the term podcast is problematic if this new medium is to appeal to a mass audience.

Disagreement from someone with Dave’s renown in this field definitely is worth special attention. I respect his view, and I responded to him in my comment to his show.

Personally, I treasure disagreement and dissent – even when presented strongly. Such discussions can be exceptionally instructive and beneficial, even if they aren’t always comfortable.

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Arranging Ideas Grab Bag

Here are a few items related to the theme of arranging ideas (content management, knowledge management, information gathering, cognitive science, creativity, etc.) that have caught my interest lately…

TOP OF THIS LIST: Blink, a new book by Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point) is due out in January 2005 – and I can’t wait to read it. Blink is about rapid cognition – the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye.

Gladwell explains, “You could also say that it’s a book about intuition, except that I don’t like that word. In fact it never appears in Blink. Intuition strikes me as a concept we use to describe emotional reactions, gut feelings – thoughts and impressions that don’t’ seem entirely rational. But I think that what goes on in that first two seconds is perfectly rational. It’s thinking – its just thinking that moves a little faster and operates a little more mysteriously than the kind of deliberate, conscious decision-making that we usually associate with ‘thinking.'”

I agree that rapid cognition and intuition are two different aspects of how the mind works, but I think Gladwell sells intuition waaaaaaayyyyy short. I’ll blog more on that later, after I’ve read Blink.

Also, Gladwell is the subject of the January 2005 Fast Company cover story, The Accidental Guru.

Read the rest of this list…

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Contextual Editing: Not Dead Yet

In the realm of content management systems, I periodically see discussion of contextual (context-sensitive) editing: fine-tuning the final phrasing or presentation of content to suit the situation in which it will be displayed.

There’s a debate brewing over contextual editing for content that is handled by a CMS. Specifically, is contextual editing a thing of the past – or should it be, at least for organizations that manage a ton of content via CMS?

I don’t think so, but I do think it’s often possible to shift more of the editorial work to the front end of the process…

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MetaMemes: Play It with Me!

OK, this looks like a lot of fun. I just got the creativity/brainstorming game MetaMemes, created by Kes Sampanthar. The concept is simple, and I think I’ve figured out how to play this game online among 3-4 geographically distributed players who each have a copy of the 214-card deck. You can buy the game online. ($23 plus shipping, USD) So who wants to play with me online? E-mail me!

Here’s a bit about the game…

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Arranging Ideas Grab Bag, Dec. 7

Here are some items related to the theme of “arranging ideas” (information management, design, and architecture) that have caught my attention recently

TOP OF THIS LIST: InfoYou: Assessing and Addressing Information Overload. Over at Metaforix (one of my favorite blogs), Lois Ambash is developing a new service for coping with information overload. I was one of the pilot-testers for her survey, and I recommend taking it. It’s very interesting!

Read the rest of this list…

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A Q&A&Q Wiki: Whadya Think?

For a little while now, in my rare spare minutes, I’ve been playing with the demo version of a cool and very user-friendly hosted wiki tool called EditMe. I’m getting to the point that I want to do a public wiki project. But I don’t want it to be too narrowly focused – I don’t want to end up with an insular group preaching to the choir or arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

So I had an idea. Tell me what you think…

(Oh yeah – What’s a wiki?)

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