An Itom in a people’s grid
My web presence is manifested through a vibrant plethora of conversations and interactions with peers, providers and organizations.I have fragmented profile segments in the walled gardens of diverse providers. I belong to a number to social networks and communities, I seek information, visit content sites, I search, I blog, I chat, I tweet…….. If once in order to find me it was enough to follow me on Facebook, Twitter…. today I am practically scattered all over the place.
In the current paradigm, when I visit a site, my profile will be reflected ( even if not visible to me, even if not in my power to take it with me)as an ad-hoc interaction in the specific allusion to what I’ve been doing in that site, asking, purchasing, chatting, searching, comparing…
Supposed I want to plan a trip to Brazil. How do I go about it?
- I Google for information
- I check flights in dedicated flight purchasing sites and airlines
- I seek travel advice from trip recommendation sites
- I explore in Amazon tourism books on Brazil
- I download Brazilian music from iTunes
- I tweeter about it with my friends,
- I consult with people in my social sphere…..
So how can my contextualization be woven? What reflects best my activities through all this inventory around the planned trip.
The abundance of communication methods, sites, platforms… calls for harmonization of my activities around a specific thread of interest in a more holistic atomic unit that reflects all about it across sites, providers, platforms and functionalities.
The basic granularity of my description as an individual can no longer be contained just at the level of the action/message/site. It has to move to the person. To quote Doc Searls “we cease being eyeballs and start acting like whole human beings.” Hence – an Itom
An Itom is the smallest comprehensive unit that describes me as a whole, as a unique individual, through all my interactions, across all sites, platforms and media. Each and every one of us is an individual, unique, distinct, non divisible Itom.
Looking at the digital world through a prismatic view of each individual Itom , creates a new vantage point for web based relations. Once we look at it as a people’s web, it’s an “I in the center” paradigm, where each user becomes a distinct anchor, an Itom.
What is my Itom?
A tale of individualism. The backbone and frame of reference is me and therefore individually different. I am a micro universe of one. It means that I have a distinct personal mark that sets me apart from everyone else and makes categorizing, segmenting, profiling me…. Impossible.
My Itom is my holistic personal signature. It stems from what reflects me most and not by how I best adapt to what someone else dictates. Since I, and you, and you, are different individuals, our individual signatures are much less cohesive and more fragmented, meshed, eclectic.
It creates a new kind of ad-hoc representations of my activities by harnessing my personal context that add meaning to the interactions, leading to: “It’s a flat world indeed – but with a big I (tom) at its center.
With my Itom, my personal context as the prism through which I look at the world – the web can become my web of life – according to me. It can become harmonized from all my past interactions, dynamic and changing as my interactions and activities change, it is free of constraints, free of foreign interests of bodies that want to capitalize on it for their interests.
It sidesteps the deadly sins of the current site centered top down paradigms: fragmented experiences in walled gardens of providers, difficulties in our data portability, lack of free roaming and harmonization of our experience, dependence on opaque privacy policies of providers, being aggressively targeted by advertisers but not being part of food chains around us.
Current imprisoned, fragmented personalization is turned into Contextivity – a harmonized experience that meshes my context with connectivity.
What are the ground premises for contextual mapping of a individual user in her Itom?
It should be executed on the user environment (as opposed to a server based service). Since each user is the only entity that actually travels through all the different interactions this user engages in, to create a comprehensive and holistic environment requires that we anchor everything on the user side.
With my Itom integrated in the web, it becomes more humanized. A new definition for its relations with other Itoms is called for.
Each Itom is a member in a people’s grid. It is a grid of Itoms that communicate peer to peer, where relations and conversations are contextualized, through a holistic personal context.