Tim’s review of “Everything is Miscellaneous”

Here’s our last book review of the semester from Tim and about  David Weinberger’s Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder

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7 Responses to Tim’s review of “Everything is Miscellaneous”

  1. Bryan A says:

    I like how many of us held up our respective books of discussion to the webcam to show our audience the book cover, not knowing/remembering that webcams show a mirror image of what they “see” so all of the text is backwards. LOL…..I did the same thing Tim.

    I think looking at how we organize information is an extremely important topic, especially with so many people saying the Internet causes information overload.

    And I can understand and agree with the concept that the older, “traditional” ways of organizing materials/information don’t work in the digital realm of the Internet. However, I would have liked to have heard more about Weinberger’s proposed concepts/methods of organization for information on the Internet, as they apply to real world applications.

    I think people interpret and process information differently, and therefore we need to stretch our imaginations to try and encompass search terms that audience members may use to locate our particular piece of information. Key search terms, tags, website rankings, positioning of the information, “advertising” through social media, links to other pages, and many other factors all affect how accessible a piece of information is on the Internet. So I think Weinberger’s topic choice is one that definitely needs to be looked at extensively.

  2. Steve K. says:

    You should have said something about that gravatar, Tim! I could have helped you out!

    Tim gives a pretty good example of how tags work in his book review (at least according to Weinberger), though another common example is hashtags on Twitter. We talked about this a bit earlier in the semester, but people might find each other in a conversation about a television show or an event or whatever by finding the same hashtag– this is a lot of what the “Trends” on twitter are all about.

  3. Danielle says:

    Haha, Bryan, I’m pretty sure I did the same thing in my book review (holding the book up to the camera)!

    I guess I’ve never really thought about organization in the “real world” versus digital organization/categorization. I like the example that you give of the book that can only exist in one place in a physical library but could be tagged with a number of different terms in a digital space (and thus more easily searchable).

    So, was Weinberger’s main claim that the way we organize things in the physical world is not the same as how things are organized online? Was there much more to it than that? I was expecting more of a discussion on Weinberger’s ideas of how digital organization should “work.” You said a lot of his ideas seemed to be repeated throughout the book, and I think I kind of see what you mean just based on some of the same concepts coming up throughout your review of it.

    Anyway, good job. This is definitely an important topic to think about with the overwhelming amount of info online…

  4. Melissa S says:

    I thought this was a really interesting topic for a book, like others have said. One thing that struck me was Weinberger’s notion that this miscellaneous tagging is necessary in the digital realm – and I agree with it but I wonder if it is a necessity not only because we are in a digital realm but because that realm allows us to search. The search feature is great, but it also dissolved any real need for organization. The beauty of a library, I think, is that it has a consistent structure and it sticks to it. You won’t find a book on dinosaurs in the self-help section – and you never will. Online, however, someone can add the tag ‘self-help’ to anything they want. I find errant tagging of things online to be annoying and its almost as if they are being exploited just so they can have some screen time with you.

    But anyway, that was a tangent. I thought you did a nice job of explaining the digital tagging versus the physicality of a book (though if 10 people buy a book then 10 people can be reading one at once – though I did get the metaphor :)). Good job!

  5. Tim S says:

    Thanks for the kind comments Danielle and Bryan! I saw the reflection of the book cover on the screen but kept showing it for some reason. Sorry for the delay in responding to this.

  6. Tim S says:

    I don’t know why I didn’t think of Twitter; I use it, too. I didn’t think the Gravatar was too big of a deal, so I didn’t worry about it. Sorry for the delay at getting back to this review. I am trying to catch up with everything.

  7. Tim S says:

    Thanks Melissa! As for the metaphor, I meant one, physical copy of a book, but I don’t think I explained it very well. Oh well, thanks again!

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