According to an article published this week in Technology Review, Radar Networks is about to launch a new tool that offers a smarter way to find information and increases productivity.
Throughout the day, a person working at a desk encounters a flurry of information from various sources: emails, web searches, calendars, notes, spreadsheets, text documents and presentations.
Sorting such information is an arduous task that, in most cases, is done on the spur of the moment when necessary.
Twine: Free tool to organize information on your computer
San Francisco-based Radar Networks is about to introduce a new, free, web-based tool called Twine, which is expected to change the way people organize their information.
Twine is a website where people can upload information that is important to them - from text in emails to YouTube videos. Or, if the user prefers, Twine can automatically store all the web pages you visit, the emails you send and receive, etc.
Once Twine has some information, it begins to analyze it and automatically sort it into categories that include the people involved, the topics they discuss, places, organizations and companies. In this way, when a user is searching for something, they can gain quick access to related information. Twine also uses elements of social networks, so that a user has access to information stored by others on the network. This creates a kind of "collective intelligence," says Nova Spivack, CEO and founder of Radar Networks.
The idea behind Twine's technology and how it works is known as the “Semantic Web”, a concept that has been talked about a lot in research circles and that can be described as a kind of intelligent information network in which the data is labeled, ordered, and easily searchable.
Twine is not the first product or tool for the Semantic Web. For years, companies have used databases that automatically stored information in certain categories and searched for it in the same way, with varying degrees of precision. Even the simplest blogs today have elements of the Semantic Web: people add tags to what they post, thus creating useful metadata that is easily searchable. Additionally, del.icio.us, the online bookmark site where people add tags to saved web page links, is an example of structuring previously unstructured data.
Hence, it is not easy to come up with a quick and accurate definition of the Semantic Web, says Clay Shirky, a professor in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. At its most basic level, Shirky points out, the Semantic Web is a campaign to tag information with additional metadata that makes searches easier. At a higher level, he adds, it's about "waiting for machines to get devastatingly smart."