Friday, March 30, 2012

Why we need personal knowledge libraries?

We are used to looking at information in a linear way. 

Typically when we read web pages and documents we scan and skim through the text like hunters trying to spot the most valuable information that is hidden in the stream of sentences and paragraphs.

Our mind directs us to filtering information until we find the relevant pearls we are searching for. The sifting through vast reams of content is not efficient and mostly tedious.

So the question is, what if we had an ability to quickly access the content according to the topics we have in mind. This would mean that we could directly ask our system what we need and the system would give us relevant choices.

For example, if we were interested in a specific topic, the search would provide a rich selection of relevant summaries – not links only – directly pertaining to our interests.

So instead of getting a long list of links to documents containing our search term we would get a handy list of the most important excerpts! And all this without the need to analyze each link and then deciding how much more time we can afford to spend analyzing the never ending possible connections.

Having the ability to directly access content of interest makes a huge difference to how we work, communicate and collaborate. Instead of being crushed by too much information to analyze, we have direct access only to information that is of immediate interest to us. 

Instead of spending our valuable time on tedious sifting and sorting it is far better to access the relevant directly so we can focus on the creative aspect of how we want to use the information.

Example of Visual Summary - dynamically exploring the topics and summaries
How this is possible? By summarizing and then and indexing information by keywords together with the most relevant summaries. This is very much similar to the way we accessed information using the back-of-the-book index except that now we can do it without the physical limits of a book. Also, our digital index has not hard limits in terms of size and content so it can be easily grown and customized to our many and diverse needs and interests. 
Taking this approach of building a library of summaries we can build a web-based back-of-the-book index that serves as an intelligent shortcut to getting desired information quickly and accurately from our favorite information streams. 
Example of such knowledge base is a collection of English Wikipedia articles summarized and organized as Wikipedia Knowledge Base. 
WebSummarizer Knowledge Library
I used our application to crawl over the Wikipedia site and summarize the published articles.  The identified keywords are the building blocks of the library.  Each keyword points to all of those Wikipedia articles that contain important information related to the keyword. And because the keyword is used in different articles often in different contexts so in result we are getting a very rich overview of the often diverse meaning of our keyword and different sets of summaries related to our subject.   

This is very rewarding aspect of researching with the help of a knowledge library environment.    
Just for example the Wikipedia Knowledge base consist of almost 5 million keywords pointing to almost 30 million of summaries. This makes a very handy access to wealth of information and it is fast and easy. A compressed Wikipedia Knowledge base fits comfortably on an iPhone, iPad, and almost any portable device.    
We can imagine not only the convenience and efficiency of creating personal knowledge libraries but also the ability to have them on any devices of choice and having them always available whether we are connected or not.  ----------------------------------------------------------------
About WebSummarizer

WebSummarizer provides tools to VISUALIZE and SUMMARIZE web pages and documents.

The results are presented as interactive Visual SummariesTree Views and a Keyword Clouds and can be downloaded easily published in blogs and websites

The Visual Summary can be navigated in any browser on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The Keyword Cloud is linked with Wikipedia Knowledge Base. When you click on the keyword in the cloud you will be presented with an instant Visual Summary.

You can summarize text in English, French, German and Spanish.

The keywords and summaries are easily exported to other applications such as word editors, browsers, mind mapping applications like Mindjet MindManager, MindGenius, XMind, and any other mind mapping application.

FREE Trial here: WebSummarizer

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