Information can be controversial to define. Widespread agreement exists, though, about some properties and uses of information.
Extensive research over the past thirty years, some of it by Tom Malone at MIT and Susan Dumais at Microsoft Research, as well as our own Jacek Gwizdka, has explored how people organize personal information.
Filing refers to organizing items according to categories or classifications or clusters. (Researchers define these three words differently.)
Hacker News has repeatedly visited the issue of personal knowledge management (PKM) with discussions of advice on how to accomplish it. It is instructive to read several of these discussions to see what changes and what remains the same over time.
This review of prior research in information science addresses the paucity of work on curation as opposed to consumption.
Whittaker asserts that people seek new information, but that information science is largely silent on what they then do with it.
Whittaker describes a few studies showing that people spend an inordinate amount of time and energy curating personal information.
Personal information considered includes documents, email, photos, and web pages.
Many people spend a long time managing it, even though they rarely exploit it.
The curation lifecycle proposed consists of keeping, managing, and exploiting personal information.
Exploitation is conducted via search or navigation, usually navigation.
Exploitation depends, in part, on information uniqueness and the spectrum from informative vs action-oriented items.
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