Information Trapping: The Followup And the Big Idea

After a week or so of serious barnacle-scraping and poking around, I ended up with about 200 pages in my Web page monitor and 282 feeds in my feed reader. There’s another fifty or so e-mail alerts I’ve got set up. Of course, I’ll probably do a little more adjustment, but so far I’m happy with what I’m finding, and I’m getting just enough overlap to feel confident about what’s being covered.

For the longest time I’ve concentrated on building information traps as an individual user, and not as part of a group. But today in a company meeting I started thinking about information traps and knowledge flow in an enterprise.

A couple of the senior people are getting more specific about what kind of information they want to receive — they want to know when THIS happens or when THIS happens or THIS happens. And that’s fine, but all the information is internal. Where, I wondered, is the external context? What about the municipal changes that might impact a business, or developments in an industry, or even changes and studies in consumer behavior?

Managing internal information flow is one thing. Managing standardized information flow (eg reports: “We have submitted a proposal to buy a truck!”) versus emergency communications (“Our truck just crashed!”) versus casual/ noncritical/nonrequested/social-level communications (“Hey, we painted our truck!”) is yet another thing.

Integrating that information flow with external context in the form of relevant facts/analysis from political/industrial ecology as well as the blogosphere and media is still another, and even bigger, thing. Information trapping on an enterprise level becomes information trapping (with an eye toward constant adjustment of traps based on what you find), information integration, and repurposing towards action.

I will be doing more experimenting on this and may have some more to say later….

Categories: News