3.4. Designing Resource-based Interactions

We need to focus on the interactions that are enabled because of the intentional acts of description or arrangement that transform a collection of resources into an organizing system. With physical resources, it is easy to distinguish the interactions that are designed into and directly supported by an organizing system because of intentional acts of description or arrangement from those that can take place with resources after they have been accessed. For example, when a book is checked out of a library it might be read, translated, summarized, criticized, or otherwise used—but none of these interactions would be considered a capability of the book that had been designed into the library. Some physical resources can initiate interactions, as surely “human resources” and “smart” objects with sensors and other capabilities can, but most physical resources are passive. We will discuss this idea of resource agency in §4.2.3.

In contrast, in organizing systems that contain digital resources the logical boundary between the resources and their interactions is less clear because what you can do with a digital resource is often not apparent. Furthermore, some of the interactions that are outside of the boundary with physical resources can be inside of it with digital ones. For example, when you check a printed book out of the library, it is no longer in the library when you translate it. But a digital book in the Google Books library is not removed ...

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