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FreePint BlogChaos, idiocy and salvation

Tuesday, 11th September 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By Scott Brown


Can we win the battle against information chaos and idiocy? Scott Brown reflects on recent FreePint Articles, reviews and observations from our community about the ongoing struggles to build value through information usage and management.


Chaos, idiocy and salvation

No, I'm not necessarily talking about the recent political conventions happening in the US – though, with those descriptors, I could be.

I'm talking about information world, and this edition of the Information Content newsletter.

Why chaos and idiocy? To begin with, Dale Moore highlights an AIIM report on SharePoint, indicating that this Swiss army knife of information tools is not being used to its full potential in many situations. As Dale points out, "SharePoint is a very powerful and very capable tool, when properly deployed, and this is where information professionals can really demonstrate their worth. It seems clear from the findings that organisations install SharePoint because they feel they should and, coupled with a lack of any real planning, are quickly disappointed."  

That doesn't seem so terrible – perhaps somewhat expected. Add to that the siloing effect of paywalls in accessing comprehensive content, the chaos of the multitude of mobile devices to which to deliver information (not to mention the danger of falling asleep on the train) and, finally, the potentially devastating effect of taking out human intervention in analysis, costing millions of dollars – well, there I go to the Dark Side again.

Where's the salvation?

Despite the sometimes pessimistic outlook on technologies, they also seem to be improving, and human intervention – indeed, the intervention of information professionals – can perhaps keep the world from falling entirely into chaos. On the technology side, the FreePint Report: Information Services Management Monthly Update highlights both Attensa StreamServer and Thomson Innovation, both of which help manage and distribute information more effectively. Access to open source scientific materials is booming, thanks to increased access via apps. Finally, the love/hate relationship with Google – regarded sometimes with animosity, and sometimes with sheer awe – got perhaps a little more love with the announcement of Google Knowledge Graph - perhaps helping us as researchers and acknowledging our humanity.

Superhero capes on, everyone! Our mission to save the world is clear. I welcome your feedback and suggestions.


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Scott Brown is the owner of Social Information Group (, an independent information practice that focuses on the effective use of social networking tools for sharing and finding information. His forthcoming book, "Social Information: Gaining Competitive and Business Information Using Social Media Tools" will be published in late 2012. He has worked with libraries, Fortune 500 companies, startups, government organisations and individuals to help them understand and effectively use these tools for their clients, and to drive increased visibility and return on information resources. He has over 20 years of experience in library and information organisations, in public, academic and corporate settings. Scott is a regular speaker nationally on many areas of information work. He is also a professional coach.

You can follow him on Twitter at @socialinfo.

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