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Content Fusion; or, There a Piece of Data Lodged in my Document

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Content Fusion; or, There a Piece of Data Lodged in my Document

This presentation attempts to introduce the concept of Intelligent Content. Appropriately, it was delivered as a featured presentation at Intelligent Content 2009. It traces the history of open markup technologies and argues that this history underlies many of the innovations now occuring online and many that are only becoming visible on the horizon.

This presentation attempts to introduce the concept of Intelligent Content. Appropriately, it was delivered as a featured presentation at Intelligent Content 2009. It traces the history of open markup technologies and argues that this history underlies many of the innovations now occuring online and many that are only becoming visible on the horizon.


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Content Fusion; or, There a Piece of Data Lodged in my Document

  1. 1. Content Fusion: or, There’s a Piece of Data Lodged in my Document Joe Gollner / Vice President Enterprise Solutions Stilo International
  2. 2. Content Challenges at Hand Volume Complexity Change Validity Accuracy Currency Correctness Time To create To manage To find To use Cost
  3. 3. The Real Content Challenge Massive growth In the sophistication of systems In the volume of content becoming available In the diversity of content sources becoming available Ironic Consequence of the Knowledge Age The Ignorance Explosion We are not keeping up with the systems and content we are creating Technology change is not predictable: swarm patterns of collective action
  4. 4. Not All Swarms are Destructive Locusts Traders
  5. 5. The Virtuous Swarm of Content and Technology Facebook Twitter
  6. 6. The Questions to be Addressed How is content changing? How is technology changing? How are organizations changing? or How does content need to change? How does technology need to change? How do organizations need to change?
  7. 7. Stepping Stones A Brief History of Content Technologies Case Study: Mommy, where do Airplanes come from? The Truth about Content The Emergence of Intelligent Content
  8. 8. A Brief History of Content Technologies Paperwork: The Empire of Documents The evolution of open content technologies The current state of open content technologies
  9. 9. In the Beginning …were table(t)s… …and books…
  10. 10. Paperwork: The Empire of Documents 19th Century
  11. 11. Mechanizing Documents
  12. 12. Storing Documents
  13. 13. Accessing Documents
  14. 14. Transporting Documents
  15. 15. Transacting Documents Order entry, accounting, inventory, shipping,… War Production
  16. 16. Memex Adapting to the Exponential Growth in Knowledge Resources Seeking a new medium in which documents would become more manageable & more dynamic 1940 1960 1980 2000
  17. 17. Knowledge Application with Technology Leveraging Knowledge through Automation The modern organization cannot survive without automation as a means to encapsulate & leverage knowledge 1940 1960 1980 2000
  18. 18. Augmenting Human Intelligence Leveraging Automation to Assist Personal and Team Productivity Douglas Engelbart Workstation - 1966 An integrated working environment in which “paperwork” was performed electronically & with great efficiency Workstation - 1968 1940 1960 1980 2000
  19. 19. The Internet Connecting Organizations to form Knowledge Enterprises Combining the capabilities of research facilities to undertake more challenging projects 1940 1960 1980 2000
  20. 20. The Vision of Hyper-Text Envisioning content forms that reflect how people think and collaborate Theodor (Ted) Holm Nelson 1940 1960 1980 2000
  21. 21. Proprietary Content Formats Limiting the Interchangeability and Usefulness of all data types
  22. 22. CALS – Tackling the Interchange Problem PROBLEM INTERIM SOLUTION GOAL STDS Supplier Client Supplier Client Supplier and Client 1940 1960 1980 2000
  23. 23. Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) 1940 1960 1980 2000
  24. 24. SGML SGML Reflected human communication patterns Provided substantial flexibility Automated processing was “difficult” Adopted in documentation-intensive sectors Charles Goldfarb Military, Aerospace and Commercial Publishing The Father of SGML The Key Innovation of SGML: naming something (understanding) is different than describing what should be done with it (behaviour) naming something is the important part naming something and defining its behaviour benefits from sophistication
  25. 25. The World Wide Web Where there’s a Will there’s a Way 1940 1960 1980 2000
  26. 26. World Wide Web – The Success of Simplicity Original Objective (1989) “to allow information sharing within internationally dispersed teams” HTML: a simple use of a complex standard Sir Tim Berners-Lee The Father The Key Innovation of the Web: of the Web deciding what to do (intention) is different than determining how it should be done (execution) deciding what to do is the important part communicating an intention and successfully executing it benefits from simplicity
  27. 27. Extensible Markup Language (XML) Source: Microsoft 1940 1960 1980 2000
  28. 28. The Key Innovations of XML The Key Innovations of XML: Fusing the innovations of SGML and the Web naming something (understanding) is different than describing what should be done with it (behaviour) deciding what to do (intention) is different than determining how it should be done (execution) Yuri Rubinsky The Spiritual Father XML exhibits an unresolved tension between of XML Sophistication to meet the needs of application integration Simplicity to meet the needs of people interacting with technology
  29. 29. XML The driving focus for XML has been facilitating a revolution in the way technology applications are designed, developed and deployed This addressed the failure of preceding approaches to adapt to genuinely open systems This focus explains a great deal about the character of XML
  30. 30. Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) Source: Microsoft 1940 1960 1980 2000 2010
  31. 31. Web 2.0 – The Social Web The second Emergent revolution in consequence web adoption of integration 1940 1960 1980 2000 2010
  32. 32. Web 2.0 – All About Engagement Web 2.0 has been called “The Participatory Web” Key technical elements include: AJAX – Asynchronous JavaScript and XML simple syndication protocols – RSS / ATOM simplified web services – Aggregator APIs Folksonomies – collaborative tagging Processable content – XHTML / CSS / Microformats Addressable, traceable, dynamic, collaborative content – wiki / blog Much closer to the original idea behind the ‘web’ The centrality of XML in making this possible is often missed
  33. 33. The Semantic Web Introducing a formal, interchangeable expression of meaning suitable to automated processing. Essential for marshalling radically distributed services. Content for Machines 1940 1960 1980 2000 2010
  34. 34. Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) DITA provides an evolving framework for handling content and its challenges more gracefully than previously. Application layers are given a chance to adapt. 1940 1960 1980 2000 2010
  35. 35. Office Open XML (OOXML) ISO/IEC 29500:2008 (not without protest) Ubiquitous XML 1940 1960 1980 2000 2010
  36. 36. A Matrix of Derivative Applications The Next Generation of Derivative Applications Draw upon massive volumes of content Rely heavily on reusable portable application modules, standard interfaces, cloud resources, & open content Evolve rapidly to meet new demands and to leverage availability of new resources Enable dynamically assembled solutions & personalized performance support tools [the digital enterprise connects to the personal knowledge appliance]
  37. 37. Mommy, where do airplanes comes from? A Case Study
  38. 38. From the Mind of a Genius, of course! 2 1 3 Most common answer but 4 wrong!
  39. 39. The Real Content Lifecycle behind Airplanes A Library of Engineering Standards is the starting point Each step in the process Reuses & references this source documentation Introduces new content & initiates changes in preceding content
  40. 40. The Real Answer Looks More Like This 4 2 3 1 5 6 6
  41. 41. The Complex Content Interrelationships Engineering Standards Provide content controls, inputs & references for the design process Become an integral part of all subsequent content Derive their authority from their status as documents
  42. 42. Changing the Way We Think About Content An Integrated View of Content Controls Sources (Inputs) Outputs References (Mechanisms) Notable Considerations References include revisions Controls govern validation Outputs cover the full spectrum
  43. 43. The Assembly before the Assembly
  44. 44. The Nature of Content Services Content Services break down into: Document Services Delivery of formatted documents that facilitate business transactions Data Services Provide highly precise inputs to applications Logic Services Provide highly precise sequencing guidance to people, processes & applications
  45. 45. The Governing Content Architecture
  46. 46. Enriching Content Assets to Support the Vision
  47. 47. Content Oriented Architecture (COA) Repository
  48. 48. Strategies for Integrating Data, Logic & Text Legacy standards information is typically “mixed” Data is often difficult to isolate & Logic is often hidden as implicit Linked models are preferable (division of responsibilities)
  49. 49. Enterprise Content Processes
  50. 50. The Truth about Content
  51. 51. Content is how we Communicate Content is the physical form of human communication Content is meaningful because it entails context Narrative Structures Implied Associations Associative Memory Associative Memory Intended Results Acquired Perspectives Acquired Perspectives Imperfect Expression Imperfect Interpretation Content is typically serialized due to the ways we express, store and interpret information
  52. 52. The Content Ecosystem Content connects everything Content populates an ecosystem where people receive, internalize, modify, use, create and share that content. In this way, content evolves.
  53. 53. Documents as Authoritative Content Transactions The document has proven to be an indispensible device for communicating and retaining content as part of business transactions Historically documents have also caused problems for content: redundancy proliferation, format orientation, and potential obsolescence
  54. 54. The Four Dimensions of Content Transactions When content is deployed within documents, it will exist for a specific time, assume a particular format, be related to other documents, and be used to execute business of varying degrees of formality. This framework helps us to understand how the documents, and their content, will need to be managed.
  55. 55. Implications of this Dimensional Perspective All document types participate in each of the dimensions. Different document types are mapped differently into each dimension. The coverage of the dimensions will be primarily determined by the semantic depth of the content embodied in each document type.
  56. 56. The True Nature of Content Content is the persistent physical form of human communication transactions. It is highly complex because it must facilitate the exchange of semantics ranging from how we represent experience (data), through how we communicate with others (information), to how we record and evolve our understanding of the world (knowledge). This scale determines the semantic depth of the content.
  57. 57. Core Definitions Data Data is the meaningful representation of experience Information Information is the meaningful organization of data communicated in a specific context with the purpose of informing others Knowledge Knowledge is the meaningful organization of information, expressing an evolving understanding of a subject and establishing a basis for judgment and the potential for action. Content What is “contained” and “communicated” as transactional documents Manifestation of Data, Information, and Knowledge
  58. 58. Content and the Knowledge Dynamic Ideally, content would fully expose data, information & knowledge in a way that was both persistent and universally accessible
  59. 59. The Emergence of Intelligent Content The Evolution of Content Technologies Makes it possible to encode content in a way that is: Discoverable Processable Informative Makes it possible to deploy tools that enable users: to create rich content to access personalized documents to access applications tailored to their needs Combines with other factors to produce conditions of emergence Digitization of knowledge resources & business processes
  60. 60. The Meaning of Intelligent Content Intelligent Content Expresses its full meaning in an open manner Can be used by people and by applications Can be located based on its content & context Can be tailored to fit specific circumstances Can be delivered as a combination of authoritative documents & application behaviour (work instruments)
  61. 61. The Function of Intelligent Content Intelligent content can play the unique role of integrating knowledge assets, technology Result Intent resources & business processes in ways that can be streamlined, systematically optimized & adapted dynamically
  62. 62. The Significance of Intelligent Content In the Age of Intelligent Content The persistence of content becomes more certain Technology resources become far more contingent & disposable Business processes become far more adaptable Radical change become far more feasible in business models & tools Knowledge assets truly become the core assets of the enterprise Knowledge becomes increasingly “executable” & this drives evolution The Fractal Enterprise emerges
  63. 63. Some More Questions What are the practical implications? What practices need to be put in place to work with Intelligent Content? What types of solutions benefit the most from Intelligent Content? Comments or Questions: What are the main obstacles?
  64. 64. The Virtuous Swarm of Content & Technology Questions?
  65. 65. References This presentation leverages material developed in the following papers: The Emergence of Intelligent Content (Jan 2009) Implementing Content Technologies on an Enterprise Scale (Feb 2008) The Anatomy of Knowledge (Oct 2006) Available at: