Organizational impacts


Humanity’s legacy of stories and storytelling is the most precious we have. All wisdom is in our stories and songs. A story is how we construct our experiences. At the very simplest, it can be: ‘He/she was born, lived, died.’ Probably that is the template of our stories – a beginning, middle, and end. This structure is in our minds.

 --Doris Lessing, author

Markup has strategic organizational impacts. That's why global publishers use it.

Markup helps authors make sense of the past, present, and future. It makes it easier to organize information for efficient, increasingly-customized and personalized pipelines. This is human behavior we're trying to influence. We're not just dealing with data.

Figure 8. Authoring meaning through content, structure and style

Past meaning      \   Observe    / Future meaning
Established values \     O      /  Future values
Past practice       \    ||    /   Future behavior
Source origins      /    /\    \   Downstream k flows
Old logic          /   Orient   \  Re-contextualized logic
Event & prior K   / Decide & Act \ Learnings

Markup is good for top-down communications and alignment. If top-down alignment systems were sufficient, our existing single-source-based communication and publishing systems should be ensuring top-notch performance.

But operational realities in countless natural economies point to the need for fundamental changes in the rules of the symbolic/ market economy. That appears to be becoming increasingly difficult as the mechanisms that influence market behavior appear to be cutting themselves off from any communications that might challenge the current systems for monetizing human behavior.

Through countless decisions, systems evolve and are optimized around specific value propositions. This has happened to markup systems and associated technologies. The ISO:SGML platform, quite simply, establishes a benchmark standard for open systems. XML's refinements have brought countless new voices to the table, but author-authored markup has simply not gotten the same attention as single-sourcing and those value optimizations are reflected in the available technology alternatives through many small details that increase authoring effort in subtle, but impactful ways.

Bottom-up sense making and communications are becoming more important. Enabling individuals to customize markup in an organizational setting can be expected to not only increase reuse and collaboration, but also better-enable multi-perspective systems and decisions.

Formalizing individual value-optimizations as semantic values shares many traits with fundamentally-enabling technologies, like email. It opens up new channels of communication. How many organizations justified their initial investments in email with its impact reducing paper mail. That happened, but it didn't anticipate the completely-new models of communication that were enabled.


The big experiment: Can bottom-up knowledge flows be established quickly-enough to build the new understandings and consensus around the logic needed to rapidly realign global supply chains around strategic physical and operational constraints.

 --Primary researcher