Social networks poised to shape Net’s future & information visualisation

A news report confirming that which I’ve commented on for a while – that the growth of social networks on the web and mobiles are going to revolutionise the web and also the way in which we produce, store, distribute and consume information.

Mobile devices are another growth opportunity, Rashtchy said, and video will be a particular complement. “This is going to get big, folks,” he said.

There’s another reason why CNET’s News.com website interests me.

Like Paul Currion, I’m interested in the visualisation of information – ways to represent complexity so as to make very large datasets more easier to navigate and comprehend. This is something that InfoShare experimented with in its early days through a tool called Semantic Navigator by ISX Corporation for Groove Virtual Office, that never got beyond the experimental stage, but was a phenomenally powerful tool that could work with massive databases to siphon relationships that would not be immediately evident.

News.com has a new feature derived from liveplasma.com – a visual navigator that allows one to graphically navigate through stories on the website and see their relationships with each other. Best used rather than described, this is precisely the type of information visualisation tools that need to be developed for ICT4Peace systems that enable stakeholders to more easily plough through complex issues without having to read through reams and reams of text.

3 thoughts on “Social networks poised to shape Net’s future & information visualisation

  1. // growth of social networks on the web and mobiles are going to revolutionise the web and also the way in which we produce, store, distribute and consume information. //

    I agree. Only when I’m out side Sri Lanka.

    When I’m Sri Lanka – I say this is just fairytale. I’m paying 250$ per a 64kbps internet line in Sri Lanka – I pay 40$ for 35Mbps internet line NY. And at the same time we talk about benefit of the internet in Sri Lanka. Very funny!

    We talk about how people consume information, even we when we cant operate a Cable TV in Sri Lanka freely. When 60% child suffer from malnutrition – More than 70 pregnant mothers suffer form malnutrition.

    //Mobile devices are another growth opportunity, Rashtchy said, and video will be a particular complement. “This is going to get big, folks,” he said. //
    Yes. it is. But not in Sri Lanka. What happened to Dialog 3G. We don’t have 3G not because we don’t have technology – just because TRC do not let dialog go island wide! Because government and all other organizations around it do live in dream world.

    This all very nice words to talk on typical meetings while having sandwiches and tea. But still typical Sri Lankan use a mobile phone just only because Dialog GSM make that possible in Sri Lanka. Not TRC or not any one else.

    I hope Mr. Saranapala from Ampara can consume .liveplasma.com from his home computer one day!

  2. Dear Sam,

    Touche and well said. My comments weren’t directed to Sri Lanka, which as you point out still has a long way to go before *most* of which is spoken of in this blog that’s premised on broadband availability (wired or wireless) is possible.

    The point about information visualisation was to explore ways to communicate complexity and depth in a manner more easily understood by those consuming the information.

    News about stifling Dialog’s 3G rollout is news to me. The point however is that while 3G is something to look forward to, we haven’t to date even started to think about ways humble technologies like SMS can be used in ways beneficial to peacebuilding.

    The point about strengthening basic health and education to temper the expectations of ICT4D is a useful & important point – but one that has been made before. There is a rich corpus of debate and resources on this topic and I do not wish to get into it here, since it is one that the ICT4D community has engaged with for a long time.

    Let us also talk about how we are ahead of places like New York when it comes to mobile telephony – the Global South, not just Sri Lanka, uses mobiles in ways that the US is only just becoming aware of – from SMS to the mobile web. The US broadband relationship with the PC prevented them from realising the potential of mobiles, which was not the case for Africa and most parts of Asia.

    My larger point is that we often (rightfully) find problems with the frameworks of information and communication in Sri Lanka. But equal emphasis needs to be placed on envisioning ways through which we can overcome these challenges and engage with agencies such as the TRC to facilitate more progressive regulations and frameworks for information access, production and distribution in Sri Lanka.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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