Innovate: from CMS to IMS (Information Management)
Uservoice is a perfect example - in very little time there are many items and people new to the list likely don't read through them all. Plone documentation is the same way.
Love the discussion, but it’s not really a feature request. :-)
As of the moment Plone is actually shipped with multiple build-in content organizing tools to help people locate exactly the information they seek. Actually it is what Plone is all about.
Some of the prominent being: excellent search algorithm, collections, keywords.
And of course all the add-on products http://plone.org/products - there is something for everybody/site:-)
But there is always room for improvement and I also think that some of the exciting areas of information management is the creation of a semantic web. Which in the end would require to give Plone some kind of artificial intelligence so that it would sort/present data intuitive to humans. One heck of an algorithm :-)
In my personal experience often the biggest challenge for businesses using CMS is to make the users put content where it is logically and intuitively suppose to be in a layout and format that is easy accessible.
Adminoptilude (Admin, Plone) commented
I don't understand what this proposal is about. Can you provide some more detail?
Large amounts of information - especially text - are very time consuming to read and difficult to organize. Only the most experienced (who were part of that documentation or have put in the time to consume it) actually understand it's structure. I'd argue that 'new people' for whom it should be focused are trudging relatively blindly.
I see two issues: one is about how we learn, the other is about volumes of data.
When I'm seeking out documentation for the very first time I usually need (or want) a quick overview and/or quick fix for my immediate problem.. not a week of studying. Often it's not that simple, but if that's the case then i want/need the essentials in the simplest possible form, perhaps with links to stuff I might need if it goes wrong.
If my time were spent this way I could continue to be productive AND learn the system with the least amount of grief.
It means breaking down content into essential/core concepts, procedures and then detailed information to fall back on if it doesn't work out.
What rather amazes me is that hyperlinks could be very easily tasked to create and organize information this way, but we tend to work in pages rather than concepts (aka sentences, phrases, paragraphs.. rather than keywords perhaps). Now with ajax it could be even more slick.
Wikipedia is a 'sort of' fix, with the idea of authoritative collaboration. The upcoming google wave is potentially better yet.
Still, I think the simple act of highlighting some text on a page and then commenting directly on that (or better yet, adding to it) could be a brilliant improvement we could make now.
Could it get chaotic? Maybe - but we have review processes and roles that could be applied. Perhaps the comment is restricted in size to force linking to resources that are larger - hopefully in a contextual or semantic fashion.
But who would do it?
Using uservoice as an example, I've noticed (what I think) are duplicates and/or closely related items, but I have hesitated to mark them as such because I keep assuming someone with more experience than me will (or should) that. They, of course, have better things to do - like coding the top ten items :-)
I think tag clouds and faceted folders are more user friendly, but how is that (really) any different than a really well designed tree menu?
I don't have a specific or better answer at this time, but the tools we have at hand provide multi-dimensional thinking and we seem to keep restricting ourselves to the two dimensions that can be drawn on paper (or in pixels).
This isn't just a plone issue either, but what if plone could solve it? We tout ourselves as a web CMS (as opposed to 'web app' environments and 'web site' builders).
So I ask: "IF we could do it different, what would it look like?"