Can Serendipity Make You Rich?

37 thoughts on “Can Serendipity Make You Rich?”

  1. Well first you would have to know what is Information, or how does data become Information and when. If you take it a step further you get into Knowledge how it relates to Information and how it’s used. And soon you end up writing an equation for consciousness, because this all has to fit together.
    Just throwing terms around believing we all share the same definition is to say at least a stretch and repeated by all the so called Information workers out there.
    BTW, trying to get this even close enough to be right based on a Boolean system or algorithm will also be a stretch, or as far as I can see, impossible.
    Anyway next thing will be the talking about Intelligent systems, but if you have solved the equations for the above problems you will realize there is no one such thing (Intelligence).
    Ok, I’m grumpy today.

  2. Yes. Add to this the fact that most people spend at least 8 hours a day at a job trying to make decisions based on data that is unique to their business (and not searchable). Yet, we continue to build and use systems at work that constrain data like the early catalogue systems of the Web. At least in our “personal lives” we can use search engines like Google to try and cut through the clutter. The challenge is that business runs on infrastructure and data and there is an increasing amount of it. There is much work to be done in Search for sure, especially in the enterprise. A few months ago we posted a blog on what we thought the Perfect Search Engine for business would look like – https://community.paglo.com/blog_topic/index/57-perfect-search

    Brian de Haaff, Paglo

  3. Spot on…turning data into information is no longer sufficient. We need actionable insights that are contextual. It is well within reach even using today’s technology to accomplish that but at some point, one has to deal with behavioral and personally identifiable info. Would people make the trade off between richer information and some degree of lost of privacy? Should that be regulated or would users be comfortable with a “do no evil” corporate mission??

  4. To me your article brings to mind aggregation and meta sites.

    I don’t necessarily want to plow through umpteen different interfaces to get the information contained therein. Sites like PopURLs and (the egregious copy) alltop.com make a decision about what sites you will want grouped and bring it all into a single interface.

    Our site ScrapeUp.com attempts to do the same thing with video aggregators.

  5. That’s interesting! It never occurred to me how confusing it will be to classify those sites as they would be pulling from as many other sites as possible.

    Still the filters would be the determining factor as to how possibly close the info would be with regards to relevance to the query. Guess a few hits that would be as close to the need would be deemed more valuable than getting too many that only touches what we may call as ‘border’ answers.

    Funny, as I seem to be talking about a similar concept called ‘network’. Or maybe the meaning of ‘rich’.

    Best.
    alain
    mor.ph

  6. Isn’t the context you’re calling for part of the hope for the semantic web? Once those ontologies and databases are set up isn’t that the first level filter that determines which data belongs together? The second filter would be some type of recommendation engine that could learn your individual preferences?

  7. Summize and most of the services that focus on tracking one or two media don’t really help when it comes to parsing social media activity as a whole. The conversational one-to-many nature of social media means you need discovery tools that not only bring back results from across the eco-system but also give you extensive analysis capabilities: who is talking, where are they, are they positive/negative and how influential are they? These demographic, sentiment and authority measures help sort the bewildering array of conversations out there.
    Internet= Information
    Social Media= Communication
    Two very different things.

  8. @Stacey
    I don’t know. The semantic web reminds me a lot of OO Programing.
    Problem is, the real world is not as clean. Data is messy, incomplete, inconsistent and the meaning can change over time, cultural boundaries.
    I don’t think it has great advantages over keyword search. Might be good for some things but in general it’s just hype.

  9. Om
    Excellent piece on the signal to noise issue we face on a daily basis. I have been thinking along similar lines. In a moment of “Serendipity” I created a concept called the Chaos Score. This basically looks at how the inputs (web, rss, apps, devices) have a similar behaviors to our information flow as Metcalf’s law regarding the network effect. You can see the complete post at http://groupswim.wordpress.com/2008/07/14/tmi-and-the-chaos-score-metcalf’s-law-applied-to-modern-productivity/

    The point is we, as consumers of this data, can significantly improve our signal to noise ratio by rationalizing down our inputs. I believe you will not “miss” anything by cutting out a few feeds or a redundant application or two.

    So, what is your Chaos Score?

  10. Pingback: Internet Overdose?
  11. I believe there are services (or efforts to bring in these services) in Europe which allow mobile users to receive updates on local events and destinations like retails stores, restaurants etc. within a set limit. It works like this: When a mobile user is at a city center, say Delhi’s Connaught Place, he will receive updates from the operator about his chosen services- Pubs in the area, Cinema listings and the like.

    Taking this a step ahead, the system can let the user know of friends within his vicinity, or maybe more interesting things based on his interests.

    Truly a great business model….to think. to implement? Lets wait for a pioneer.

    Manish Pahuja

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