Contextopedia

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Description

David de Ugarte:

“The great blogosphere toolbox keeps a treasure trove of equal worth to that of blogs: contextopedias, encyclopaedic dictionaries linked to blogs or companies. But before we move on to the birth of contextopedias, let us ask ourselves: what does a company mean for its environment? Within the framework of the coming capitalism, the company is increasingly becoming a context, a set of concepts and pieces of knowledge, of established experience. Exactly what is made explicit in a contextopedia.


If the blogs written by company collaborators are the cavalry that spreads the company discourse and kickstarts its conversation, the corporate contextopedia (collectively created by all those who work in it) would be its identity, the conceptual common framework within which they develop their mission, discourse, and conversation.


This hybrid model of personal blogs and collective contextopedia has an additional advantage: if bloggers move to a different company, it’s quite possible that they will still link to the definitions which they contributed to create, or maybe they will even quote them in their new work place.” (http://deugarte.com/gomi/the-power-of-networks.pdf)

Discussion

David de Ugarte:

“A contextopedia is therefore a personal or corporate blog space which specialises in defining and expounding frequently used terms, conclusions which are seen as solid, and closed debates.


If contextopedias include things that are not under debate, it’s precisely because it’s contextual definitions that define identity. Two people may disagree about absolutely everything: but as long as they share the same context definitions, they will share a common identity and will understand that their debate is taking place within the framework of a similar view of the world, not within an antagonistic framework.


The network made up of all contextopedias, in all their different formats, would therefore be an expression of identity, a map of identities, and a form of distributed encyclopaedia, all at the same time. That germinal network would amount to the soul of the blogosphere. The logic that would have many contextopedias rather than a single one (usually Wikipedia) is often criticised on the basis that it’s more difficult and costly for users to find something when there is more than one place in which to look for it.


It’s true that this cost has decreased since the creation of tools like Google Coop. Nowadays it’s easy to build for oneself a mini-Google that will only search in specific sites (for example, in a certain rank of related contextopedias or blogs).


It is true, however, that even if they are small, it's obvious that diversity entails certain costs. But the fact is that socially they are worth it.” (http://deugarte.com/gomi/the-power-of-networks.pdf)