Thursday, 19 April 2007

Architecture of Conversation - presentation at IA Summit

Andrew Hinton's presentation "Architecture of Conversation" at the Information Architecture Summit 2007, addresses some very relevant issues in knowledge organization. Here is the description from the author's blog inkblurt:

“Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.” – Cory Doctorow

How can Information Architecture address the increasing demand for collaborative work, meaningful conversation and social connection? We’ll explore how “Community of Practice” is more than just a 90s knowledge-management buzz-phrase. It’s an important model for understanding group behavior – and one that’s becoming crucial to designing in the age of Wikipedia, MySpace and YouTube.

Understanding communities of practice as a phenomenon can lend a great deal of clarity to designing frameworks for participation: creating the right conditions for particular kinds of collective effort.

We’ll gain an essential understanding of “communities of practice,” looking at “IA” as a handy example. We’ll then examine how the concept helps us design for a variety of collaborative environments – from intranets and medical forums to multiplayer games.

1 comment:

Bob Bater said...

I think Andrew Hinton's presentation is brilliant. The scenario he describes is one which is familiar to anyone who has watched KM find itself in recent years. But I think it is so relevant to ISKO - as you say - in a number of ways. Firstly, the IA (Information Architecture) community has seen itself emerge as a loosely-bound community of practice from the coagulation of a number of disciplines around the new seed crystal of the Web. And IA, of course, includes elements drawn from information science, so there are conversations to be held there.

Perhaps even more to the point, the author's treatment of the social dynamics of 'discipline' versus 'practice' is so obviously descriptive of the two 'poles' - academic and practitioner - of ISKO UK. But most important of all IMHO, is the fact that Hinton describes exactly the sort of heterogeneous scenario in which our traditional and not-so-traditional KO concepts and techniques are going to be seeking a new alliance and redefined roles and relationships in the not-too-distant future. Lots of conversations to be had there, too.