[unrev-II] OHS needs to be personal

From: Garold L. Johnson (dynalt@dynalt.com)
Date: Sun Apr 08 2001 - 05:22:08 PDT

  • Next message: Garold L. Johnson: "[unrev-II] Structured interactions in an OHS"

    In thinking about the nature of collaboration and knowledge organization, I
    have come to the conclusion that an OHS has to be usable by a single
    individual for personal knowledge organization and thinking if it is to be
    truly useful.

    In composing this email, for example, the tool that I have is a word
    processor. While the merits of this particular word processor can be argued,
    it still fails to be a knowledge tool in any sense that we would use the

    I canít (easily) reference other information I might have, or other emails
    in this discussion.

    While there is an outline mode, it is rather primitive and doesnít provide
    any support for accessing other information.

    If I make use of all the tools available on my machine, I can begin to
    structure a document in some way(s) that might actually make it useful, but
    it is far from an easy task.

    If I were attempting to formulate an entry into an OHS with this tool, I
    would have to go to some extraordinary lengths to generate something that
    would be useful in that context, if indeed it could be done at all.

    On the other hand, if I have to use a different tool to collaborate via an
    OHS than I use to organize my own thoughts, ideas, and information, then
    there is a barrier to collaboration that I think is unnecessary.

    Therefore, I believe that for an OHS to be successful in the sense of being
    well and continually used, it must scale from my personal use up to whatever
    larger collaborations I support.

    I want to be able to use the same tool that I use to support knowledge
    collaboration to manage my own personal information on my own personal
    machine without requiring external servers or any other infrastructure. I
    should be able to synchronize the various places that I create information Ė
    home, work, a laptop, a PDA or palm computer, etc.

    Since I use elements of the same tools and techniques for organizing my own
    knowledge, which is of interest and use to me, that I use in collaborating
    with others, I have no barrier to collaboration. Any document that I produce
    using the tools can be entered into the OHS directly, preserving all of the
    connections that I allow, without having to change methods of work to do it.

    Partly this is just because I donít want to see our desire to build a tool
    for collaboration end up being web or email only and still be stuck without
    tools to support my own thinking and information organization.


    Garold (Gary) L. Johnson
    DYNAMIC Alternatives <http://www.dynalt.com/>

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