A tale of two villages

Once upon a time there was a village.  And the people of the village all worked very hard creating “content”.  And the content was good and useful.

In the course of commerce the people saw that other villages also produced content which was good and useful.   So one day elders from all the surrounding villages held a meeting to see about how they could work together and “share” their content more freely and easily.  After talking briefly the elders agreed that this would be a good thing, and they gave it a name: “content management”.   And the elders returned to their villages to tell the people how wonderful it was going to be that all the content which they created in their separate villages would be available to everyone in all the villages.  And the people rejoiced.

When the village elders reconvened to start working toward achieving this dream they immediately saw that it wasn’t going to be so easy.  It seemed that folks had many different ideas about how the content sharing should work. Some people said, “I just want to share content with the people in my neighborhood.  That’s all I care about.” Others said, “I want to be able to pick and choose what gets shared with other villages.”   And on and on.   The elders tried their best to come up with a way that all the needs and desires of their constituents could be met, but alas they did not succeed.   Eventually, they realized that content sharing could happen in many different ways without having “one system” that governed all.   The villagers indeed over time worked out many ways to share their content, which, while far from being the promised land of “content management”, served their needs pretty well.    And they were reasonably happy.

Now there was another village in another land.   And the people of this village worked very hard creating and organizing “resources”.  And these resources were highly sought after by people from all over the land, well beyond the boundaries of the village itself.   And the people of the village stored their resources in giant silos in different places throughout the village.   And each silo was accessible by different means: one by train, another by boat, another by cart and horse.  And they thought to themselves, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the resources from all these silos were accessible by the same means, whether by train, or boat, or horse-cart?   Then people could come to one place for all the resources they desire.”   And so the village elders met to discuss this, and agreeing it was a good thing, they gave it a name: “resource discovery”.  And the elders told the people how wonderful it was going to be …

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