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Oxford England

  • The End of the Road
    These photos are separated from my Travels album because Oxford is something of a second home. I still manage to visit it several times a year. So the pathway between Manotick and Oxford is well trodden and I can likely do it with my eyes closed - and probably have on more than one occasion.

Royal Roads University

  • Hatley Castle
    This series of photographs was taken over the last few years. I have stayed at the campus of Royal Roads on several occasions and I have been repeatedly impressed by the grounds. They are in many ways a little-known treasure.

Travels

  • Kafka Statue
    Here is a selection of pictures I have taken during my travels over the last few years. I am very obviously an amateur photographer and it is not uncommon for me to forget my camera altogether when packing. What the pictures do not convey is the fact that in these travels I have met, and gotten to know, a great many interesting people.

Manotick Ontario

  • Springtime in Manotick
    Manotick Ontario Canada is the part of Ottawa that I call home. Much of Manotick stands on an island in the Rideau River. Interestingly, the Rideau Canal, which runs through and around the river, was recently designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. So this means that the view from my backyard is in some way on a similar par with the Egyptian Pyramids - although the thought strikes me as ridiculous.
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« The Marriage of Structure and Semantics | Main

March 17, 2019

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Vingar

I loved it, Joe.

For "Intelligent information, can be retrieved and assembled by users in a multitude of ways and used to construct answers that exactly match their unique circumstances — that answer their questions."... the challenge is the unpredictability and the complexity in the customer journey.

Can we prepare our content systems around customers' context that changes anytime for any reason, on any device? Possibly yes for 2020 but not sure for 2022.

PS: It is like raising content as our kids so that it becomes self-sufficient, but under our governance!

Joe Gollner

Hi Vinish.

Interesting observation. And exactly to the point. I like the comparison to children - as this strikes a chord (as a parent whose children have grown up to the point where they can now govern me - or at least provide cautionary words of wisdom when I go a little off track).

Unpredictable is not exactly the same as "completely unpredictable". There are things that will be foreseeable and for which reasonable preparations can be made. As the usage scenarios grow more complex and less predictable, sometimes we find that the best things we can do is be yet more clear and precise about what we are providing - so that as people set about doing something weird at least they have a few points of reference that they can count on.

This marries up with the hard work of thinking about, and articulating, in formalized and useful ways, the "aboutness" of what we are providing. It is hard because "aboutness" almost always entails some sense of the possible usage (function) of the thing so this brings us back to thinking about the other side - where people (users / partners / customers) are going to do "weird things".

As a random memory, I once worked on a large, multi-national Naval project where we were trying to provide a digital onboard learning and reference library that would be stocked with video resources (and this is way long ago - way before such things were commonplace). The issue was to determine which videos merited production when we could not be sure about how and why they would be accessed. We actually found, to our surprise, that the resources that were most heavily used - to the point of being consulted continuously - were the videos about the underlying theories - down to the physics and mathematics behind everything - that explained why certain systems were designed the way they were. It turned out that no matter how weird the usage scenario was, or the how strange the maintenance circumstance was, people wanted to understand why things were the way they were - in large part because they were about to do something weird and they wanted to know how crazy their ideas were. This is a lesson that has never left me.

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