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Ideal Mechanism to Communicate and Collaborate

Posted by Sravan | July 28, 2009 .

Joerg Beckert of Adobe Wave raised an interesting question in a comment: What is the ideal mechanism to communicate and collaborate? This is the million dollar question that a lot of people are trying to answer.

Keeping technology aside and considering what the user wants, Joerg himself has a list and the keywords are: filter, prioritize, pause, resume, merge, split, move, discover, share. Edit, search.

You will have more keywords to add, I’m sure. Prioritizing all these keywords is a challenge in itself.

The user as a rule is lazy and whimsical, wants a single application that takes care of all his or her needs, even those that he is not aware of. There are two sides to the user. One side has a long wishlist to go by. The other has the wish to become serendipitous.

The majority of users receive a lot more information than what they send. Sending, sharing, disseminating IMHO is not a big problem to the user today. There are means to do it and they are getting easier and more accessible by the day.

Receiving on the other hand is a cancerous problem. Some of these above keywords intrinsically seem to require or produce redundancy, leading to information data overload. On the contrary, the user wants only the right amount of information, with as little overhead/fat as possible. And yet be able to discover relevant new stuff.

Take Twitter, e.g., because it is easy and is the in-thing today. A user would like to tweet about a most-discussed topic and retweet, and does it in a blink, but the same user would usually not like to reread the same retweet or even a similar tweet (not just syntactically but even semantically speaking). The tweets are data. The user would like a compressed but complete extract out of that data, the right bits of information. The discovery part isn’t yet great either. A user discovers a few interesting tweets by someone and follows that someone. The user, however, is not necessarily interested in most tweets by that someone, but only those related to a few categories.

Filtering, prioritizing, and searching options are great, but the user would rather not do it and still want the information. The current refineries which extract information out of data aren’t there yet.

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