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Gold in Orienteering and Ideagoras

I must admit that when I read the title of the Connect! chapter assigned for this weeks reading, "Surf Waves of Information" I was disappointed. However, upon reading the chapter I was pleasantly surprised by the content. The discussion between teleporting and orienteering was one that I had never heard of before. Teleporting is what I most often do, moving straight to what I am looking for. (Zelenka, 2008, p. 120). Teleporting seems more common because often times when we are looking for something we want it immediately. I think this concept plays into the fast-pace society we live in. We strive for speed and productivity, this can be seen with drive-thru windows for food and banking and the constant demand for multitasking. Any time in which at least two activities are not being completed is though of as wasted time, particularly in the corporate world.

However, Zelenka's discussion of orienteering should be regarded as productive in that is allows for "serendipity". Orienteering is making small steps to your goal and exploring new outlets. If you choose the wrong direction or click on the wrong link you can simply backtrack and continue on (Zelenka 2008, p. 120). I personally feel that orienteering is a process that should be used more often. Although it may take more time. it also provides for the opportunity to find information that would often be skipped over with teleporting. Orienteering allows the searcher to see not only the information they are seeking but also the steps and thought patterns that lead to it which provides for greater learning (Zelenka 2008, p.121)

Zelenka provided an great segway between the Connect! reading and the Wikinomics reading, provided you read them in that order, with the topic of prospective search. According to Zelenka, prospective search is the process by which a web page informs you of updates since the last time you searched it. However, it can work for more than one page. Prospective searches can cover the entire web and will alert you when a desired topic to mentioned anywhere (Zelenka, 2008, p. 130). I personally love prospective searches and use them all the time. I currently have about 5 set up on a variety of topics related to my job. For example, anytime an article or mention of one of our clients appears on The Wall Street Journal I get a notice. This allows me to have a complete background of not only the person I am working with but the company as a whole. The more I know about my clients the better I can serve them.

Prospective searches segway well into the Wikinomics reading in that prospective searches can provide companies using ideagoras an advantage. If a company is looking for intellectual property of a certain topic or related to certain problem they can set up a prospective search to flag any discussion of these in order to find solutions quicker.

There is a difference between ideagoras and open-source software that Tapscott discusses in the chapter. Ideagoras make ideas, inventions and expertise available without regard to physical boundaries, however these usually are available for purchase (Tapscott, 2006, p. 98). Open-source software, a discussed in a previous, open data and software up to the world for modification and interpretation in an attempt to solve a problem. The individual who is able to devise the best solution is compensated for their work. Open-source software does not sell intellectual property as ideagoras often do.

Ideagoras allow companies to expand research and development past the confines of their walls and to utilize the knowledge of the entire world. This process is necessary in order for the companies to succeed in the every competitive marketplaces. (Tapscott, 2006, p. 101). I really enjoyed Tapscott's discussion of ideagoras. I often see companies protecting their intellectual property to fiercely that it inhibit growth. The idea of selling patents or intellectual property that is not benefiting the company any longer frees them up to pursue new research or to focus funds on a successful project (Tapscott, 2006, p. 104).

These readings in regard to "Mining the Web" opened my mind to the possibilities of growth and development for the company I work for. It appears that intellectual property is the new currency not in the old way of the more you have the richer you are but rather the better you utilize it the more success you will find.


Hello Stephanie, I love being pleasantly surprised. Reading about teleporting vs. orienteering was interesting to me, too. Before reading the chapter, I never knew that there were names for those two types. What is appealing to me for Orienteering is that you make small steps to your goal and explore new outlets, and also it allows for serendipity. Serendipity is one of those catchy words--well, at least I think so--like exotic, serenity, etc. Exploration is a good thing because sometimes it leads to something great. For example, you start exploring in Facebook and you find long-lost friends and get reunited with them. That's such a good feeling. It's an even better feeling when someone finds you! It is a pleasant surprise!