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Friday, January 08, 2010

Information Filtering

Harold Jarche posted Business models looking back and forward where he looks at various trends and implications on business opportunities.  One of the main points he makes is:

In early 2010 it is pretty obvious that nobody needs an other Web portal.

I both agree and disagree.  He’s right.  No one really wants another web portal.  We’ve got plenty of information sources already.  At the same time, we need lots of help filtering the flood of information.  Harold is a master of that and effectively uses twitter, RSS reader and lots of other sources to bring across and filter information.

My strong belief is that there is more and more of a need for effective information filtering.  Basically, easy ways to get the information that you want or need.  Heck, a lot of what learning professionals do is filter information.

Harold is comfortable with small pieces, loosely joined as a means of filtering.  My belief is that there’s a fairly large population that will get value from what are essentially portals that take advantage of social signals (a powerful information filtering mechanism).  That’s somewhat the whole point behind eLearning Learning.

Professionals who don’t have time to try to find, subscribe, read all of the various blogs and other sources can look to a portal like eLearning Learning (and particularly it’s Best Of emails) as a means of getting a filtered set of all of this.

Of course, there’s so much more to defining what someone particularly needs.  This filtering is horribly crude and will get much better over the years.  But since a lot of what a portal can bring is information filtering – I’m not quite so ready to sign up with Harold’s assertion.


Dianne Rees said...

Well, no one needs a portal that's just a list of links, but not all portals are created equal. Yes, we have plenty of information sources, but it's great to have an opportunity to view a collection of sources that have had some quality review and that are presented with some reflection.

I'm for not throwing out the baby with the bathwater in 2010 :)

jay said...

My best filters are my friends. That's why I read Harold. And you.

V Yonkers said...

Where would you place tools like delicious? Certainly it can be used to filter information, but it also helps in sharing and disseminating information.

Twitter and other social networks help to filter, but they also help to direct traffic towards information and creating knowledge paths. I think the next big discovery will be a navigational tool through networks (there might already be something in use). Simply explain what type of information you are looking for and there will be a link to clusters of networks working on the same problems.

Vijaya Kumar Chenchugari said...

Obviously information overload is a challenge and by all means informat needs to be filtered. I feel the future will have personalized search tools,technologies which can be used to filter the information based on user preferences.

Tony Karrer said...

@Virginia - as you suggest, delicious can be used both as an information filter (seeing what other people bookmark) and as an extended memory.

I agree with your vision of what's needed. In the meantime, I think a lot of that will remain as search and portals. Which is why I don't think that portals should be thrown out quite yet.

Vijay - thanks for stopping by. Like Virginia - I think your vision for the future is where things are headed.

V Yonkers said...

Andy Cloverdale had an interesting prediction related to the search function. He predicts that search engine lists will be replaced with visual mapping tools. In my mind this would allow for the navigation through networks I mentioned.