Shifting the Square

April 21, 2008

Rubik's cubeImage via Wikipedia

In keeping with my nascent blog style (see here and here and here), I just had an experience which I will now weave into a Wedia concept/metaphor/idea.

Abe was out at Nexpo the other week and picked up a 3D Rubiks cube from the folks at Dario Designs. Now, you might think that a traditional Rubiks cube is 3D, but instead of only twisting, this Cube unfolds so it’s like a herky-jerky pixelated snake. Arriving at the office today, I found it in pixelated snake mode instead of the end-game cube form. I quickly realized why Rubiks is practically synonymous with Frustrating. The intended pictures on each face were obvious enough, but putting them together so the whole thing made sense was not about to happen. And then it did happen, and there were copious fist-bumps in the office.

Wedia is much like this little unfolding cube. Plenty of people can see how the pieces should fit together, but actually fitting them together incites head-meets-wall behavior. Plus, Wedia is not even a pixelated snake type of thing, it’s a 4D cube that has pieces pulled in and out over time, layers added, and colors changed. In order to bring Wedia together at a LoMediaCo, Content Provider, or Web Portal, it’s going to take many perspectives from many angles.

Here at Wedia Up, our goal is to form one (or three) of those perspectives. On top of that, we’ll move around and listen a lot in order to gain as many angles on Wedia.

From where we are now, it looks like we need better ways to collaboratively and semantically leverage all of the great content/ideas out there. If I post an idea, I want an engine that instantly serves up all of the relevant things that touch my idea. From patent filings, to message boards, to press releases, new stories, economic data, and grant solicitations. I want to give up on an idea that is already established, augment an idea that is relatively novel, and find opportunities to take on ideas that are unique and actionable. I want to hear from the thumbs-up crowd and the thumbs-down crew.

Filtering/mining/narrowing ideas semantically and collaboratively is the future of innovation in both established communities like LoMediaCo’s, or nascent communities of tinkerers. If we can come to quicker decisions about what to pursue and what to leave on the shelf, we’ll be more efficient in the decidedly inefficient realm of innovation.

The trouble is, many ideas that are “new to us” will be exposed as “old to them” (thereby making us feel less-than-unique). The cool thing is, we can learn from those who were ahead on the bell curve. It’s a bit tough, but I’ll gladly swallow my pride for an advanced learning opportunity.

Feel free to take a crack at my pride the non-semantic way in the recently opened comments below. No more WordPress user account needed.

NIH (Not Invented Here)

March 29, 2008

It is an interesting concept I learned about from this article at the New York Times site:

“Because great new technologies are coming from people who want to do their own thing, and won’t necessarily work for someone else, acquisition may be the only way for a large company to get them,” says Mitchell Kertzman, a partner at Hummer Winblad, the venture capital firm in San Francisco.

It’s kind of what we’re trying to figure out here with wedia too. How can we help build a community around media which will allow for companies and individuals to help one another – yet at the same time, provide enough space for innovation to happen.