I was pleased as punch to discover the book Ambient Findability by Peter Morville yesterday. In fact, I devoured most of the book last night, resulting in dreams about metadata! Maybe not the best bedtime reading.
Peter is the author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, another excellent O’Reilly book. This tome runs a surprising gamut of topics, from crime statistics to health care to folksonomies, and though it certainly meanders, it’s the best treatment yet in a printed volume of the many factors swirling about today’s Internet.
For example, Peter actually goes so far as to diagram different information interactions, such as the difference between a taxonomy and a folksonomy. He illustrates the consumer decision-making process and buying process. He explains why sometimes worrying about the findability of your website (in a search engine, for example) might actually be of a greater concern than the organization of the site itself. And he shows how sites like del.icio.us and Flickr reveal the incredible power of tagging.
As the Web becomes an ever-larger part of our everyday lives, we realize that the humble profession of web design is growing all the time, requiring ever-more understanding of the world around us, crossing discipline after discipline. This is the kind of book that makes us really excited about the future, and about our chosen profession!
You can read an excerpt online!