Continuing to learn from my children

Information overload is of the commonest pushbacks against the take-up of social software “behind the firewall” in enterprises. I’ve always believed in “filtering on the way out rather than on the way in”. Now that’s great in theory, but the practice gets harder as the firehose grows in diameter and I get older. As a result, I’m always on the lookout for different ways of visualising things.

Recently I was pottering about at home while my youngest child (Hope, my daughter aged 9) was surfing, and I went to take a look at what she was doing. She was happily using StumbleUpon, one of my favourite tools, to go she knew not where. [Yes I do make sure that inappropriate content is blocked].

And she stopped at this video. As usual, I’ve made it available on my VodPod in the sidebar as well. [Incidentally, if you’ve ever wondered why I VodPod at the same time as providing the link, the answer’s simple. If you want to find the video link later you would normally have to search through my archives for the right post. Instead, by my using VodPod, you can get here straight from the sidebar.]

I think the Animusic videos are great ways of giving people a chance to visualise music, there’s something vaguely Heath Robinson-meets-Mozart about them. I will ponder over this for a while, trying to consider where else this type of imagery would come in useful.

Visualisation techniques are essential tools when dealing with information firehoses, and (IMO) are far more effective than filtering techniques. When you can add decent collaborative filtering, recommendation and ratings mechanisms to good visualisation techniques, the world is your firehose.

5 thoughts on “Continuing to learn from my children”

  1. Giancarlo, since my wife uses mind-mapping in her (sixth grade) classroom, I could not resist following your link. I suspect these guys have never been in a middle school classroom! The interface is clunky and not particularly informative. (My initial test, in the interest of my wife’s curriculum, was Ray Bradbury.) There is a lot of mind-mapping software out there, as you will discover with a simple Google search. Different products are aimed at different age levels, and many of them are informed by some rudimentary anthropological field work of the practices of the intended users.

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