Monday, November 29, 2004

David Weinberger's presentation

I have now listened to David Weinberger's presentation -- part of the series on "The Digital Future" -- twice. Yes, it is that good. Weinberger talks at great length about knowledge. In the beginning, knowledge was something that was shared by everyone. Everyone was knowledgeable in something. Over the years, however, philosophers began to "bottle" knowledge and categorize it. Knowledge was no longer something that everyone had some of, but was something that belonged to experts and was found in specific places. He notes, though, that the Internet has changed that.

With the Internet, we now see knowledge being shared in personal ways through e-mail, online forums and blogs. In other words, people are making what they know available by self-publishing. That knowledge may not be lofty, but may be very useful. He talks about reading product reviews written by real people who had used the products.

We need more people to create blogs, not so much on personal topics, but on those professional and business topics. We need people to share their experiences and give lessons learned. For example, wouldn't it be wonderful if a digitization project published a daily or weekly blog that chronicled the project's progress as well as successes and failures? Imagine the lessons that could be learned. What digitization project would take on this challenge? Will any? Doing so could allow a project to teach us in real-time what to do (or not to do), rather than waiting for the project to do a presentation or publish an article. It would be very helpful. And it would make David Weinberger very happy.

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