Sunday, February 13, 2011

KM and the return to the Memex

The recent issue of the Communications of the ACM (vol. 54, no. 2, February 2011)includes several articles of interest to this community.

"Still Building the Memex" by Stephen Davies is a review of the data models underlying Personal Knowledge Bases (PKBs). Beyond the expected discussion of mind-map, hypertext systems, and note-taking applications, I was intrigued by a discussion of data provenance, which tracks the source of the external knowledge included in the PKB and allows for filtering based on the source of the information.

"Structured data on the Web" by Michael Cafarella et al. reports on two research projects developed by Google for data mining and crawling the Deep Web.

An editorial by David Roman speculating on the end of print publication of the Communications is complete with the obligatory to-the-barricades quote that "digital media will free Communications from the constraints of print" and is supported by a news item by Gary Anthes on the launching of ACM's new digital library, the first major revision of the presentation of the magazine's archives in 10 years. One of the new options for user interactivity is the feature for the creation of "shared binders", which is a cross between a realization of the Memex "trails" and the tradition of sending out reprints of one's articles to associates.

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