Google launches SearchWiki

Did you notice the little icons near you google search results this morning (at least if you were logged on your google account when you did the search). They are SearchWiki icons. This way, if you like or a result, you can promote it, so that it will always show in 1st position when you [...]


In a recent bout of interest in ‘personal information management,’ I’ve been thinking about and talking to people about the way we stay organized and on top of things.  Some people like GTD, others use google gcal/gmail/etc, others use post-its, and a whole host of people don’t record this information at all.  Instead, they do [...]

Tag relatedness in social bookmarking systems

This post about ISWC got lost in the drafts pile, so I’m publishing it a bit late. The folks from Tagora spoke about the relationships between different tags that get applied to the same document, and the tags that different people apply to the same documents.  The looked at the ternary relation (user, resource, tag) [...]

Hard information management that should have been easy

I’m composing the first of what I hope will be many posts describing information tasks that should be easy (ideally, point-and-click easy) but instead seem to be very hard (requiring programming). I post these in the hope of finding out about tools that do make these tasks easy, or fomenting thought about why these tasks [...]

E-mail users are individuals too – the lack of personalisation in use of today’s email tools

In 1981, Elaine Rich predicted in a paper called “Users are individuals” [1] that as digital information tools became increasingly capable, they would empower people to assume more tasks and responsibilities. This tendency would, in turn, drive a demand for better tools — tools that let people complete their tasks more easily, efficiently and accurately, [...]

What Administrative Assistants Do, What Computers Don’t

For years the HCI and CSCW community have taken on the notion of a personal digital assistant as a gold standard.  However, this supposedly-routine work is in fact complex and requires much knowledge of context, and as of yet we haven’t succeeded.  What can we learn about these activities, and how can we bridge these [...]

Predicting the Flu, Checking the Weather, Google’s philanthropic arm, claims it can predict flu outbreaks about ten days before the CDC can.  Through this site, you can determine the severity of flu outbreaks in your area.  Google bases their predictions on a spike in search terms such as “flu symptoms” on the Google search engine. [Thanks NYTimes] Compare this to [...]

Influences on Tag Choices in

If bookmarking on is fundamentally about personal information management — organizing and re-finding your own bookmarks — then it’s important to understand why users choose the tags they do.  There are two major (possibly complementary) hypotheses for how tags are chosen: a social model (we’re influenced by what others on say) and a [...]

Syntax Errors in Javascript: JSLint saves the day At runtime, firebug and Javascript Debugger will catch Javascript errors you need to worry about. But what it you’ve made a syntax error, and that Firebug completely ignores your js file… If you want to avoid hitting Ctrl-z until you find where you made the mistake, or worse, re-read line-by-line your 2000-lines-of-code script, here’s [...]

Range: Exploring Implicit Interaction through Electronic Whiteboard Design

Wendy Ju, an interaction design researcher, writes: “Imagine, for a moment, a doorman who behaves as automatic doors do.  He does not acknowledge you when you approach or pass by.  He gives no hint the door can or will open — until you wander within six feet of the door, whereupon he flings the door [...]