by: Austin (Google)
Choosing a name.
26 September, 2013 I made a decision. A decision so new and young that it is still trying to grow and form into something—anything. I decided to start writing. Not a blog. This is not a blog, but rather just a space on the internet, that hopefully a few people will be able to gather here with me and read an article about a subject that I find to be truly interesting and fun to think about.
A name has to be given.
Obviously, the word “informate” isn’t recognized as a word. Try googling it and you’ll be corrected to informant, which obviously is far more searched. I figured that while this post may not be terribly long, it is important to the value and understanding of this blog.
While sitting at my desk wondering what to call this site (I wanted to avoid anything too personal), I thought about what I truly wanted to carry out through this blog. Informing people of just…well…things. Things I find interesting, that maybe someone else will find interesting also. (Sharing a bond with a complete stranger through something that I wrote that just interested me is especially exciting.) So that’s where the first original concept was birthed. From a goal.
So the hunt began.
The thoughts started racing through my head, filling it with different variations and synonyms of the word “information.” The information, inform, info, the i, were all options at one point. Even “The Eye” was an option, stemming from a cheesy pun, but also reflective of the omniscient all-seeing eye, and how one uses their eyes every day to analyze and observe information. Luckily, the availability of the site name quickly helped narrow down my choices—all were taken. Sitting, staring, thinking, I finally conjured up a variation of a term coined by Shoshanna Zuboff. In 1988 she wrote a book titled “In the Age of the Smart Machine.” The original term found in this book is “informating” which is defined by Zuboff as:
the process that translates descriptions and measurements of activities, events, and objects into information. By doing this, these activities become visible to the organization.
Every part of this definition applies to my original concept and goal for this site. Even though things are incredibly early on here, and I fully expect and welcome change as both I and this site grow, the goals will remain the same. By analyzing the world around me and taking in the different activities going on, along with current events and other happenings, this site relays that information to you (the organization) to view for your pleasure. I created a variant of this word, thinking of an informate as the person who would be presenting this information to the organization (you). And I can factually say all of this even now, because of the content and purpose of this site. This site exists solely to give information and interesting article solely for your pleasure. If this fails to happen it is no longer this site. It may go by the same name and have the same look, but the original site under which this idea was born, will be dead.
For the next bit of time (I have no idea how long or how short) I will be using things that are highly dependent upon some of the thoughts and ideas of others. I still find them interesting though, and record and transcribe their thoughts and bring them over here to you. The roadmap is to slowly work towards creating content that becomes more and more from me, eventually arriving at a state that the information here is solely researched, planned, organized, and presented here to you by me personally. For now though, in the infancy of this blog, the content will always be credited and cited as to give as much credit to the creator as possible. Also, I recognize that in order to keep producing new articles for you to enjoy, I must set up some time allotment or schedule for these posts to become live and therefore, visible to you. Every Friday morning at 6:30 am, there should be a new post available for you to read on this site at the home page. No clicking around to try and find it, but just—BAM, right there. So, with all of this said, hopefully the name of this site will be a little less muddy and more understandable. Thanks for reading,
Austin Duncan, Author
Zuboff, Shoshana. In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power; 1988