Types of information objects

Kipp Elliott Watson's picture

There are at least two basic types of information objects. One is organic and the other idealistic. By organic I mean a composite of attributes that reflect nature's use of ordered and encoded DNA information to drive organic living and organic growth processes. It is no accident that trees, branches and leaves are so often used to describe ordered relationships. By idealistic, I mean a throwback to the Platonic concept of a pure object that exists in form but is never actualized in practice. To exemplify in a Google Wave context, I think of blips created by two or more participants, each an organic leaf at first, then to stay as a leaf for the rest of the collective's (wave's) duration or transmute into a branch or be snipped (moved) into another collective or replicated (copied) to another collective or become the progenitor of a new wave. In general, each leaf reproduces much of the encoding contained elsewhere in the collective. Each new frame is in a new context which repeats much of what has been repeated before. During the time period in which there is ongoing activity with relatively short durations (high frequency) organic information objects can become unwieldy in the sense that they become less and less susceptible to being perceived in a coherent fashion by its own participants or potential participants. On the other hand, there are idealistic information objects. By this I mean information objects for which the Playback function has little significance. The frame that matters the most is the most recent. Think of edited word documents, books, referential wikis, etc.
The behavior of participants in the creation and continued development of these Google Wave based information objects will necessarily spawn entire new rules of etiquette. Google Waves permit the simultaneous editing of blips by numerous participants (think IM) as well as emails and replies/forwardings of email. Have you ever been stepped on by someone who is editing the same thing you are writing in a shared blip? How can information become ordered by something as messy as this?
Participants in a Google Wave need signposts to help guide behavior. There is a menu item in the sandbox "Debug". A menu item "Properties" should be added which specifies that the originator allows simultaneous editing in a blip but discourages it or encourages it. Also, the originator of the wave can indicate whether the wave is intended to be organic or idealistic. One way to signal this is by using a light green tint for a background color for organic information objects and a light blue tint for a background color for idealistic information objects.


nice, and pls tag with commas

kazar's picture

thanks for the line of thinking to mull over. a note:

unless you separate your tags with comma (not spaces as on some other platforms) they are pretty much useless.

tags, commas

Kipp Elliott Watson's picture

good point about the commas, suggested changes made

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