Just In (Ahead of) Time

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.