Notes from IA Summit 2015 Day 3

These are my notes from day 3 of the Information Architecture Summit, held from April 22-26 2015 in Minneapolis.

Table of Contents:

A tale of twin cities

Kristina Halvorson (@halvorson) and Karl Fast (@karlfast)

  • Content strategy developed out of collective anger, getting called in the last minute when everything falling apart, none of the design artifacts were considering where the content was coming from
  • User Experience is the term that non-practitioners have adopted and understood, we may not like that term but it’s a wedge to get into the conversation.
  • Karen McGrane has done the same with Content Strategy for Mobile - mobile as a problem is a way to get structured content as a topic
  • Fundamental question of IA is what is information? just like physics doesn’t know what space and time are, trying to come to a deeper understanding of the topic
    • bottom-up set of concepts, how they relate to each other, how they evolve
    • Content strategy is entrepreneurial in that you’re never satisfied, but you need pragmatic, useful tools that help you start doing the work for people who just heard about the field - there’s an element where you’re wrestling with this stuff, but at some point you just have to get the work done, get something reasonable and acceptable or the whole field will get stuck
  • Joe Golner - relationship between data, informtion, knowledge, content
  • We are the change mangement people of the 21st century, we connect the dots between people in the organization and design the future
    • Number 1 question: how can I convince my boss that this is important?
  • Lisa Welchman introduced the term “web governance” - Managing Chaos

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Closing Keynote - Starstuff: networking with nature

Brenda Laurel (@blaurel)

  • human creations aren’t necessarily different from creations of nature
  • technological tools are natural extensions of human nature - not separate, part of us
    • distributed cognition
    • caledonian crow uses stick as tools to eat, improvisational play
  • tools made through improvisation, invention, design
  • many of the most significan tools extension of our own desire to see and know - e.g. telescope to see ships at war, planets
  • nested entities
    • entity has perception, representation, action loop - perceives environment, represents that environment internally to map perception to actions
    • even dna contains entities
  • humans better at passing on increasingly complex information than lone wolf - e.g. through story
    • lemombo bone is 42,000 year old lunar calendar
    • we have time-displaced conversations with 44,000 year old cave paintings
  • relics of entities tell us how they work, how they live(d)
    • abalone shell refraction shows ocean temperature when it lived - need data from several disciplines to model all the data in the shell
  • make entities self-revealing - augmented reality - give annotations of place to mobile when someone gets close
    • next step - demonstrate relations between multiple entities
  • ecosystem composed of many different entities living at different scales in a dynamic equilibrium; can be seen as a dynamic information network, containing entities within entities
    • there are entities inside entities: human microbiome
  • conversations with ecosystems are often descriptive, not causal or dynamic
    • NEON using domain-specific data to describe dynamic relationships
  • Markus Covert - first complete molecular model of an organism synthesizing data from many experimental sources, modeling allows us to predict and discover new things
    • uses 26 sub-models
  • model the amazon with different levels - individual trees in amazon overlaid with carbon uptake, all of brazil overlaid with fire hazard
    • next best step: pluggable models with data and model protocols that connect them
  • what do we need to do:
    • small set of data protocols for modelling natural systems
    • model protocols to use data from other models as input to plug things togother
    • protocols for interstiltial layers as connective tisuues between models to represent causality and relationships
    • a commitment to a Gaian view of earth
  • steps in social domain to create interconnected models
    • expose your code! make it useful beyond the current project
    • release the data!
    • don’t publish a scientific paper without publishing both!
  • be in the world and of the world. what does it mean to represent it?

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