Chip Shots by Chip Griffin

Defrag Conference to Focus on Information Intelligence

So along comes an event that sounds like it’s right up my alley.  Here’s how organizers describe the Defrag conference:

Defrag is the first conference focused solely on the internet-based tools that transform loads of information into layers of knowledge, and accelerate the “aha” moment. Defrag is about the space that lives in between knowledge management, “social” networking, collaboration and business intelligence. Defrag is not a version number. Rather it’s a gathering place for the growing community of implementers, users, builders and thinkers that are working on the next wave of software innovation.

I first read about it earlier this week from Brian Oberkirch and I immediately put my name on the list for more info from the organizers.  Then one of those organizers, Brad Feld, wrote about the conference this afternoon and it got me noodling on the topic again.  He likes to talk about the issue in terms of “Intelligence amplification” to address the “trust/attention/relevance” challenge.

Obviously, this is an area that I focus on a lot every day, as CustomScoop’s mission is to turn piles of news stories, columns, and blog posts into actionable media intelligence for clients.  As the mass of information continues to expand daily, our clients need more and better tools to monitor, analyze, and understand what’s being said about their company, products, competitors, issues, etc.

Brad, Brian, and others emphasize that this conference will evolve based on public discussion of its content, so I want to do what I can to contribute to that process.

Off the top of my head, some of the topics I’d love to see this conference explore include:

  • Understanding relative relevance in the social media space — what matters and what doesn’t?
  • Extracting value from reader comments on blogs
  • Exploring patterns of message travel in the blogopshere
  • Focusing attention through niche information organization and analysis
  • Blending and correlating disparate information sources — corporate financials and news coverage, for instance
  • Distilling information from fire hose to water glass to facilitate reader consumption

There’s a lot of interesting activity going on in this space and there’s huge room for improvement in the tools and services available to extract intelligence from information.

Hopefully as I spend more time with this and hear more about what others are suggesting, I’ll be able to refine these ideas and come up with others.  Regardless, I’m enthusiastic about the potential for this event and wish the Defrag team luck in putting it together.  I plan to be there in November and expect I will extract a lot of value from it.

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