xml, semantics, & information architecture

Found these in Andrew Hinton's 25 Theses for Information Architecture, linked from Corante on Blogging.

Lots of resonance here for me. This is where my inner librarian and my inner technologist reach mutual understanding. Information technology needs to be about the technology facilitating the storage, dissemination, and use (by people) of information.

12. One goal of information architecture is to shape information into an environment that allows users to create, manage and share its very substance in a framework that provides semantic relevance. 13. Another goal of information architecture is to shape the environment to enable users to better communicate, collaborate and experience one another. 14. The latter goal is more fundamental than the former: information exists only in communities of meaning. Without other people, information no longer has context, and no longer informs. It becomes mere data, less than dust. 15. Therefore, information architecture is about people first, and technology second.

I need to ruminate on this some more. The "semantic" component is where the power of XML lies, to be sure, and I want to be sure to emphasize and build on that in my XML for the Web course next quarter.

It's not enough to know that this is a critical area of technology...it's also necessary to communicate that clearly and effectively. Russell Beattie wants to know why he's only now hearing about RDF when he's been using XML since '98. Probably because the people who understand its value and significance haven't been effective in getting the message out, and in operationalizing it in a way that allows people to "grok" its value and importance.

So, anybody got great examples of XML (RDF or not) being used in web contexts that I can use to make my class really "get it" next quarter?

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This page contains a single entry published on November 7, 2002 8:33 AM.

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