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October 12, 2004 » 11:00 am

TARDIS, Collective Memory, and Meetings

Gerry Gleason taught me a new word today: TARDIS, which stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. It was used in Doctor Who for time and space travel. It looks like a phone booth on the outside, but it’s got infinite space on the inside. It sounded to me like infinite closet space, a place where you might store all of your belongings and never look at them again.    (2G6)

My hard disk sometimes feels like a TARDIS, the Internet even moreso. In order to have Collective Memory, we need to have better indexing of this infinite closet space. And search engines are not the end all and be all of information organization. We need to constantly refactor and distill information, a manual process that helps learning and also helps us find things later.    (2G7)

With this in mind, here are some guidelines for high-performance meetings:    (2G8)

  • Always scribe in real-time on a Shared Display. After-the-fact minutes are better than nothing, but they’re not better than real-time distillations. It helps focus conversation, and it gives you an artifact to which you can refer later. These days, when I attend gatherings where no one is at the whiteboard, I start to squirm.    (2G9)
  • There needs to be a medium for building on relationships you make at a meeting. This could be as involved as a mailing list, and it could be as loose as an attendee list with contact information.    (2GA)

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