Just In (Ahead of) Time

Glossary: 
Thinking back to some of those ideas that were labelled “a good idea that was ahead of its time”, one can see that there seems to be a narrowing gap between Just In Time and Ahead of Its Time. With the march of Moore’s law and the half-life of information clocking up at an ever-increasing rate, Ahead of Time might just be the new Just In Time. This thought could go on for a while, but let’s summarize to say that these days, we need Ahead of Time ideas to use in an ever-increasingly close future. So being a person who always seems to be a little out there might not be quite so tough-- thank you to all of the Isaac Newtons, Jules Vernes and Alan Turings out there who broke the ground. We are at a point in time where being Ahead of Time might be closer to production. Why the big introduction? Well, this idea I introduced at the school Tech Group just doesn’t quite fit yet, but it will (although depending on one’s context, it might already). An over-heavy information topography needs to be slimmed down. Reliance on resource heavy, fragmented, and high profile services can be lightened or even eliminated. For example, overuse of e-mail with large group lists and mailings doesn’t have to happen-- the big server draw and threat from spam and viruses is not compulsory. Accessing organizational information from fragmented sources shouldn’t have to bog down work-flow. Why? Through some re-structure of habits, rethinking and training, these things can be replaced with lighter, more sustainable systems. Put all of that fractured data into a single light-weight social networking system that can automatically organize information for distribution to appropriate channels. Status.net and other similar systems could take the place of mass-mailing lists. Groups are set up. Messages marked to a group get there. Group members subscribe to their feed, perhaps with the aid of a client program. Resource-heavy e-mail for the function-- not necessary. Concern about spamming and viruses-- eliminated. Thousands of hours compiling and managing mailing lists-- avoided. Time used accessing silo-ed information sources-- gone. Information can be repurposed through syndication and other techniques. On top of that, enjoy the bonus that members of the organization can readily communicate and participate at will.

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