This Liquid Information Research Project is aimed at making all text on the web interactive in aid of improving how we augment our abilities to digest information.
The goal of the Liquid Information project is to wake people up to the possibilities of interactive text. The actual research project 'work' is concerned with extending our abilities to manipulate the symbols through which we organize, manipulate and transmit our thoughts: text. The immediate deliverable product is to produce a working and useful Hyperwords system.
The wider question is: How far can we extend our basic human abilities through fast, networked computers, in order to increase our capability to digest useful information from electronic words? This leads to the more focused question: How can we make text more interactive? The initial focus is on the Hyperwords Menu and how it allow for powerful interaction with text.
The scope of the research project is that of electronic words in general and those on the web specifically. Hypertext and weblinks augments the users ability to navigate and explore electronic words - the Liquid Information project deals with words which are not manual links, allowing them to be used for comparing other information and to re-organize the users view of the information, through web-browsers.
is it about making more information?
No. We are concerned with navigation and digestion of web based text, not in the production of text.
is this dynamic hypertext?
Hyperwords are not dynamic hypertext. Hyperwords allow for more free interaction and navigation.
The Hyperwords Menu which allows users to point to words and carry out commands.
The work will be on the technical system and on finding out what commands are useful for the Hyperwords Menu to provide. This sounds trivial until it is reflected upon that this is simply a menu to pass commands back to the server. Anything a computer can do with text then becomes a candidate. The challenge is to provide sets of commands which enhances the users information navigation and digestion processes. Measurements of user performance will be comprehension & time based.
Over time the Liquid Information project plans to grow into a fuller research organization once the initial promises have been delivered.
This is not an exclusively academic exercise, though it is concerned with fundamental research; there will be a continuous delivery of useful products and services to the community.
Hyperwords is but the beginning.
The process of becoming a part of a Bootstrap Alliance (Doug Engelbart's organization) NIC (Networked Improvement Community) is an integral part of the process of this fellowship.
University College London Interaction Center (UCLIC) acts as host for the project.
No. Wiki's are useful but we are not focusing on building any infrastructure at this point. We are focusing on helping people navigate through any web page text. Wikipedia is accessible through the hyperwords menu though.
The Hyperwords Menu is the tool we are building. Point to a word (or a selection of text) and you get a pop-up menu with options as to what you can do, such as search the web, email the text, modify the page and so on. You can try it in the Demo.
who are the people in the animation on the left?
The pictures are from the Kinokuniya Bookstore in Singapore. Lots and lots of people reading!