Clay Shirky was interviewed on “On The Media” on the July 8, 2005 show. Clay discusses the history of the Wikipedia, vandalism of wikis and the ability of the Wikipedia to act as a quick response news source. They discuss the Tsunami and London bomb blast pages as examples.
>”Whenever there is a really major disaster but no immediate news, the people on cable are often vamping because they have to keep repeating the basic story on the chance that someone has just tuned in even in the absence of any new information. Wikipedia solves that problem while, at the same time, having a symbiotic relationship with those news outlets because it points people to the written form of stories”
To me, this has the same implications for enterprise communication and collaboration (and virtual organization comm and coll). Instead of repeating the same information in meetings, a wiki can gather the decisions, details, facts and pointers about a topic easily.
You can download the show as an MP3 or subscribe to the podcast which is my favorite method of getting these sound files. Clay’s segment starts at about the 13:50 mark.
Shirky: Ontology is Overrated — Categories, Links, and Tags
Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags
From Clay Shirky’s Blog:
>This piece is based on two talks I gave in the spring of 2005 — one at the O’Reilly ETech conference in March, entitled “Ontology Is OverRated”, and one at the IMCExpo in April entitled “Folksonomies & Tags: The rise of user-developed classification.” The written version is a heavily edited concatenation of those two talks.
Clay Shirky has posted a new version of his Ontology is Overrated talk.
IT Conversations: Clay Shirky – Ontology is Overrated
Clay Shirky gave a presentation at ETech titled Ontology is Overrated. You can listen to the presentation at the link above (ITConversations).
Highlights [with my expansions in square brackets]:
(1) Ontologies are left over from times when we had to file objects on shelves. This is no longer true with data on the web [or in an enterprise].
(2) The ontological goal of finding the perfect categorization scheme for the “essence” of the objects you are categorizing is a false goal in this era.
(3) Library of Congress categorization scheme (hierarchical buckets without overlap between buckets) is optimized for numbers of books on the shelves not conceptual ideas or intellectual aspects. Books need to be in one place but ideas can be all over the place. We have confused the container for the things within the container.
(4) There is no shelf. There is no physical constraint that we have to enforce upon the web.