Peter Morville talks to Talis

Last month I talked about Peter Morville’s tech talk over at Google about his new book Ambient Findability. Well last week Peter was interviewesto one of my colleagues here at Talis, Richard Wallis, about his book and his views on Web 2.0, information architecture, authority and a number of other issues you can listen to the podcast here…

Download MP3 [40 mins, 36Mb]>


Ambient Findability – Peter Morville

Ok it’s definitely that time of the week when I catch up on blogs. I have a feed that shows me all the latest Google Tech Talks some of which I ignore but some are genuinely interesting – such as this one entitled Ambient Findability and the Future of Search:

It’s easy to be dismissive due to the sheer pretentiousness of the title until you realise who’s giving the talk. Peter Morville is co-author of …

Many people consider Peter to be the founding father of Information Architecture, and certainly the above text was and still is considered to be a seminal piece.

In this talk Peter discussed what he refers to as Ambient Findability the subject of his new book:

Morville talks about the Internet, GIS, and other network technologies that are converging to make unlimited findability possible. He discusses how the convergence of these innovations impacts society, since Web access is now a standard requirement for successful people and businesses. His central belief seems to be that information literacy, information architecture, and usability are all critical components of what he see’s is the future of search.

It’s a fascinating talk that anyone in the new Web 2.0/Web 3.0 bandwagons should take a moment to listen to. I’m still left grinning at one of the observations he makes right at the beginning:

A few years ago I started to get really sick of the word usability. It’s a good word and folks like Jakob Nielsen did a good job of blasting that word into everybody’s heads. And when I talk with executives about their goals for the redesign of their websites, without fail when I say what’s your goal? they say “we want it to be more usable” so I’ll say great what does that mean?. The problem is that the word usability has sort of grown and grown until it’s almost synonymous with quality.

If you don’t understand why that’s a bad thing, then you really need to listen to this talk.

Equally if your a librarian or a Library System vendor then you need to listen to this talk, many of his examples are from this domain and they are fascinating.