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December 18, 2007

Liberating content like liberating form

Nature drills holes in things, it liberates form. It takes away everything extraneous (see talk on organic design by Ross Lovegrove). Personal portal pages (like Netvibes and iGoogle) basically do the same through their widgets. You could call this a functional form of content erosion (since some of the original - hopefully mostly window dressing - content is lost in the process).

osto_bone_1_m.jpg (JPEG Image, 200x200 pixels)

On the contrary on those portals, a form of functional content sedimentation appears. Content that might not have been specifically intended (since you subscribe to a feed, not the actual content) gets in and stays behind. This creates a temporary (depending on the update frequency of the feed) constellation of content that might or might not reinforce the user in the current setup of the portal. The actual content might trigger the user to 'upgrade' the feed (giving it a better position) or even fix the content, or 'downgrade' it by moving it back or even deleting the feed altogether.

It's an iterative process, driven by a partially managed flow of content, that eventually does lead to stronger setup or structure of information for the particular user. Just like the bones that developed over time to best fit their host.

Posted by Almar at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)