The question is, why do you need the information?

Part of connection (and as I’ve talked about before continuation) is actually the goal of the connection itself. Why am I connecting to a specific device? What is the goal of that connection?

Let’s think about the gap for a moment. Why are you reaching for information? Why usually drives how much and how far you are willing to go to get something. So the why of the information is important. Information can be referential – I refer to weather data and static information (GPS location etc.). Data can be informative (I didn’t know that) and data can be adaptive (If and then statements). But why we reach for it drives our stress if the connection fails.

If you are at the dinner table and someone says “who did the voice of Roger Rabbit?” Four people reach for their phones, its fun to be first but in a convivial atmosphere you don’t care if you are. Its like quick draw, who is fastest. But once the information is found you don’t care that you weren’t able to get it fast.

There was a time when the newspaper was king. Now it is out of date the minute the printing press finishes the run and bundles the papers. I read a paper every morning for years. Now I check the various news services I keep tabs on every morning and save a tree (no newspaper for me!). The information of today is fast. There was a time when breaking news was on the TV or Radio. Now, its on that cellular device as a popup message.

So when you seek information and its not at dinner with 12 friends but say you, alone at night and nearly out of gas in the place you do not know. What is your response if your phone doesn’t have service? First off, you fall back to your GPS and hopefully use the maps program. So instead of out of gas, a fixable issue how about stranded with a flat tire, a rental car and no spare? What do you do when you phone cannot connect?

That has actually happened to me. More 15 years ago than the last few years but still it is a terrifying moment. You can avoid that by using a satellite phone but they are still a bit costly. Or you can avoid that problem with other forms of communication. HAM radios have extended ranges and don’t need cellular towers. The Delorme In Reach allows you to send a satellite text message including your location to another person or 10 other people if the first person doesn’t respond. The problem is solvable. The answer is when you are stranded connection is critical.

Information exists in buckets. Or devices. Or CPS sensors or other people’s phones or worst other people’s brains (its really hard to do a direct brain to brain connection). The relevance of information is why we are seeking it. The more critical the information the more we need to jump to the right bucket quickly. The longer the we look the more impact the lack of the information creates.

The value of a search engine is the speed at which is helps you find data. The problem with a search engine is if you pick the wrong search terms and end up with two pages of information that isn’t useful. So jumping to the right bucket is important. Specialized applications appear that give you access to managed content (information brokers and information merchants). Searching managed content has two value propositions. The first is the data is managed therefore known good. The second is there is a lot less chaff to sift through to find the wheat.

Its hard to forget why you are searching for data when it is time critical. It is a huge relief when you find it.


Searching for CPS standards…