Structuring Personal Information When Everything Can Be Saved and Searched...
May 17, 2006
William Jones is an Research Associate Professor in The Information School at the University of Washington where he manages the Keeping Found Things Found project (funded by the National Science Foundation; see also).
Many people are curators, consciously or not, of large and growing collections of personal information. People collect articles, books, magazines, recipes, songs, pictures, etc. They collect still more information with no clear subordinating category other than "stuff".
Or, perhaps more accurately, the information itself "collects". People can have gigabytes of storage representing email messages, electronic documents and various other files. They may have large numbers of references that point to information on the Web. And people often still have large amounts of information on paper.
This talk will describe exploratory research to understand better how people manage ever larger collections of their personal information, the kinds of problems people encounter as they do so, and the kinds of support people need in order to "manage" better? to manage not only the information but the various activities for which this information is needed.