Quite a while ago, I promised a second part to my critique of the analogy of Internet with Superhighways. As usual, sloth, and other pressing emergencies made it fade into the background. But with the U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) ruling on Net Neutrality still fresh and shiny, this seems like the moment to make good on that promise.
Before Internet of Things – Internet of Ideas
The phenomenon known as Internet of Things – where intelligent, connected objects communicate and take decisions without human intervention – could not exist if we didn’t already have an internet where the majority of communication remains textual (like this blog, for instance). We tend to prefer familiar models, and the model of written communication is one that is deeply embedded in Western cultures.
But the Internet is also a natural transmedia vector, and we already see stories being told by parallel text, video, audio, fixed image, and other kinds of content, on multiple screens. To get the whole story, you have to engage with all the different media that are used to tell it, and none of them has the complete lowdown. We use very different perceptual equipment to understand each of these media, and they happen simultaneously. This is so far away from any kind of superhighway analogy – we are, in fact, in the realm of parallel universes!
Posted in Rants
Tagged choice, Communication, Community, complexity, Content, Culture, democracy, Design for Good, Education, Ethics, freedom of expression, ideas, Information superhighways, Internet, neutrality, Technology, Transformation, transliteracy, transmedia, wayfinding
As Promised, here is a full set of links to the materials for two series of collaborations between The Transformation Society and Adobe Technical Communications Division. Enjoy!
- 2013: Crossing Boundaries: Implications for the Content Industries
- 2014: Tech Challenges: Surfing and Diving Deep
Posted in Recommendations
Tagged Adobe, cognitive science, Communication, Community, complexity, Content, Content Strategy, Culture, Culturecom, Decision support, democracy, Design for Good, Education, Ethics, expert user, expertise, Findability, future, Human Resources, Humanist Nerd, Humanities, Information, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Internet
For some time now, some of you have heard me speak of The Transformation Society. The idea came when we were talking about The Information Society, and realized that what was needed was not more information, but transformation! Transformation of information into useful knowledge, transformation from aggregation (a collector’s mentality) to diffusion (a community sharing mentality). Transformation from immobility to dynamic flexibility; from habit to exploration; from fixed diplomas to lifelong learning.
Posted in Report
Tagged Adobe, Communication, Community, complexity, Consulting, Content, Content Strategy, Culture, Decision support, democracy, Design for Good, Education, Ethics, The Transformation Society, Training
Those who work in certain regulated industries, most especially the pharmaceutical field, know that labels are important. In fact, companies have people who do nothing but manage the labels of their products, and the language on them. This is because a change of even the positioning of a comma can require going through a regulatory re-approval process.
While this might seem like a lot of bureaucratic hassle to some, the reasoning is that a minor typographical error on a label can cost lives.
There are many aspects of life other than technical communication where this is true, and I have recently had the sad occasion to experience one case.
Posted in Rants
Tagged 9N, Catalonia, Communication, Community, complexity, Culture, democracy, Education, election, Ethics, fascism, labels, politics, separatism, Ukraine
At the beginning of 2014 Adobe released Technical Communication Suite 5, with new versions of all its key software elements.
As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve been asked to blog on a lot of subjects. This is one. I’m not going to review TCS 5, or enumerate the new features, many competent people have done that already long ago. I am going to talk about what I think is a major move by Adobe in this release. It’s a good move, in my view, and one that is not without risk to the company.
I work with Adobe, and they asked me to review their software, to which they give me access without charge. No one in my position is going to write a negative review and publish it. However, if I did not have positive things to say about this software, I would simply not write about it at all. In any case, this is not a review, and the opinions in this post are my own, and are not influenced by Adobe or anyone else. As always, I reserve the right to my own independent opinion, and that’s what you’re getting here.
Posted in Recommendations
Tagged Adobe, Captivate, Content, FrameMaker, Information, Ray Gallon, RoboHelp, Software, Structured Content, TCS5, Technical Communication, usability, User Assistance, UX, Value, XML