A Visual Relevance Map

Still trying to grok relevance in our current Internet state of affairs? Simply put, relevance is the degree of value and importance that a particular item of data holds for you. Filters and tools help us sift through the irrelevant to find the relevant. Different tools fit different needs – relevance is directly related to how particular information is uncovered, how it is intended to be used and its degree of implicit veracity and support.

Skeptic Geek Mahendra Palsule has put some brain cells into mapping relevance with a visual representation that sorts the tools in different need quadrants.  While I believe the purpose of Mr. Palsule’s exercise was to determine the front runners in the battle for our attention raging among startup tech companies. I think the mapping also serves as a decent primer for any web user to get a sense of what tools will yield which result. Check out his map below:

Just to clarify, search vs. serendipity addresses the range of behavior from actively looking for something specific to simply happening upon something of value. Popular vs. personalized reflects the range between data that is hot across the masses compared to info that is ranking high within your own social circle.

The tools noted above are not an all-inclusive list – I can think of at least ten more right now off the top of my head that should fit on this x y axis chart. Nonetheless, the chart provides a great overview of where the different types of tools fit in the overall scheme of how to find, filter and interact with the information most valuable to you.

I strongly urge you to hit the jump to Mr. Palsule’s original article, where he provides a more detailed explanation of what he was trying to accomplish with the table and his FORMAT method of categorizing the tools. If you understand how the tools fit in the bigger picture, you can more readily figure out which tool to use for a given purpose.


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