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Tom Matrullo has a brief but thoughtful post that points out that the metaphor of the “miscellaneous” is spatial, whereas temporality is at the heart of so much of the Web.

Great point. Temporality is crucial to many (most?) of the innovations on the Web. E.g., the boon of Twitter and Jaiku isn’t that they promote short blogging but frequent blogging and blogging of transient events.

And Tom is right that the miscellaneous calls up spatial images. I refer to it as a pile of leaves frequently. And that strips the temporality out of it. Temporality shows up merely as one more piece of metadata that might be useful, e.g., wouldn’t it be helpful to know when a particular tag was created? The pile itself is temporal as a continuing presence that grows and gets enriched. But that’s pretty inert. It’d be interesting to re-express it in temporal terms. I don’t know how to do it, but it’d be interesting.

More important, Tom’s right (as usual) that we should pay attention to what the miscellaneous metaphor hides.

One Response to “”

  1. on 15 Oct 2007 at 9:06 amKevin Gamble

    This is interesting to think about. There are lots of metadata elements that come into play. I often think about distality as well. Not only when something was created (its freshness) but where.

    I find the Google Trends application most interesting because it shows you where in the world (by city and country) that search terms are coming into play. It’s an interesting way to observe memes spread across the globe.