Markus Strasser

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Atomic Units of Knowledge and Modularity

Right now the smallest unit of uniquely addressable knowledge is a whole webpage. The elements on that page are not independent.

The web has failed to be that and we as makers have failed to deliver that future.

What many underestimate is having your context right where the actual content lives. When you visit a resource, all the people, topics, community or however else you’d want to aggregate, filter or subscribe the meta-commentary is anchored right there at the *segment of interest*1.

Right now, we copy information by value, not reference. You can’t way we can reuse, test, verify and improve on it along a single chain of work and revision…and not duplicate all that work every time we mention the same resource. That is kinda similar to wikipedia, but most things don’t have a wikipedia page.

The reader can’t follow a link from a downstream item to its upstream source. If the upstream source changes, the content management system can’t update the downstream copy.

Search as this is extremely useful and we all benefit from it mutliple times a day, but a smarter web not only deliver massively better search, but also a discovery experience.

When you search for key terms you are already biased in your frame of the problem. It works so well, in general, that we don’t question or imagine a better way to traverse the vast global knowledge landscape.

Atomic Units of Knowledge and Modularity