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Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  321 ratings  ·  36 reviews
This is a book about everything. Or, to be precise, it explores how everything is connected from code to culture. We think we're designing software, services, and experiences, but we're not. We are intervening in ecosystems. Until we open our minds, we will forever repeat our mistakes. In this spirited tour of information architecture and systems thinking, Peter Morville c ...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published August 13th 2014 by Semantic Studios (first published August 12th 2014)
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3.78  · 
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 ·  321 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Amy Goodchild
Jan 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
I had really high hopes for this book and I did learn one interesting thing from it. (It suggested using tagging instead of categorising, which is useful for a project I'm working on currently.)

However, in general, the book is a rambling stream of consciousness. Morville lurches from one topic to another, with very little of import to say about any of the subjects that pop into his head.

Just as an example, at one point, in the space of a few pages, the book goes from discussing ad revenue on s
Brian Sletten
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to give this a 4.5, but it was strong enough that I decided to give it a 5 instead of a 4. The 0.5 dock would have been for meandering sections, oversharing in places and few other minor distracting quips. Other than that, it is a fantastic book and I don't even care about his specific point of information architecture per se. Peter elucidates so much of what is wrong with IT departments, technologies, the decision making process and the fundamental problem of humanity injected into the ...more
Jurgen Appelo
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved the stories and insights. It's not only about information. It's about life.
Deane Barker
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
I am an unabashed fan of "Information Architecture for the World Wide Web," which Morville wrote with Lou Rosenfeld. A few years ago, I read "Ambient Findability" from Morville and was deeply disappointed -- it was all elaborate and fluffy theory, with no practical relevance.

Almost unbelievably, this book is worse.

For the life of me, I can't figure out what the hell Morville is talking about. The book is part IA, part philosophy. Morville talks about Bhuddism a lot, both explicitly and in refere
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is not only about information architecture. There is so much information shared by Peter that one has quite a lot of things to ponder on and dots to connect. "Intertwingled" is a truly wonderful piece of writing and sharing.
May 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed-by-me
Peter Morville wrote the books Ambient Findability and was/is an author or co-author for various editions of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web. He's smart.

This book is a mixed bag. At bottom it's a defense of the role of the information architect and the idea that the study of cultural information patterns in institutions and organizations is necessary and urgent in order to create solid representations, pathways, and taxonomies of information. And he's very good at helping us unde
Dan Nolting
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Should be required reading for MLS, not only in its introductory paths through information systems, but the author's path as an MLS grad confronting the changes in the marketplace.
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
As the title describes, it is Intertwingled! Morville does a good job of discussing the importance of understanding the larger picture and natural connections that exist. We must understand that everything is connected and as such design must respond to such connections. I enjoyed the organization of the chapters: Nature, Categories, Connections, Culture, and Limits. It says it all in five words!
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
It was okay. Somewhere between 2-4 stars depending on your connection with the material I suppose. Very well written in that you understand the complex structures he's talking about, but what purpose that clarity serves I don't know. The 'point' of the book - everything is "intertwingled" - is unfortunately about as much depth as it ever gets to. There are great personal anecdotes right alongside some really off-color references. I could definitely see it resonating, but for my money, much of th ...more
Robert Bogue
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It might seem odd that one of the forefathers of information architecture would proclaim that everything is intertwingled and thus hard to force down into specific categories, but that’s what Peter Morville is saying. You can’t separate the parts from the whole. Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything is the start of a journey in realizing that, no matter how hard you try to cut apart, partition, chunk, and dissect, most things can’t be broken down without losing something. That won’t stop ...more
An easy read with many profound insights into the nature of complex systems aka the world ... but ultimately a collection of philosophical / sociological musings with very little practical advice. It is culture which resists change. Too many vignettes that appear to be deep, but are ultimately deeply personal with learning points few and far between. Maybe it fulfils its purpose, if it compells one to think more and read less?
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, z_2018
A bit more of a philosophy book about living in a digital world than a user experience book. Still I like the tone and voice and agree a lot with what is said basically that everything we use to explain and show various aspects of the world (words, maps, diagrams, categories) are limited and there's really noting to be done about it except use different ways and know that the pitfalls are there.

Labels: Information, Ecosystems, Cultural Change, Living in a Digital World, Webdesign
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
The book started well and I was glad to see a variety of examples regarding the relationship between systems, culture and information, such as Jane Jacobs' theories regarding urban planning. But it evolved to be a sort of rambling of the author's repertoire from his personal and professional experiences.
Karen Calhoun
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it
would be a 4 star read except for the last section where the author pontificates/harangues about his approach to weight loss, exercise, eating healthy, agri-industry, global warming and just about anything else in can think of.
Marko Lallo
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is more like a personal journey.
Nelson Zagalo
Jul 30, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting book that starts great, presenting large rhetorics on information and society, exploring connections between the world made by humans, machines and nature. I strongly believe in Ted Nelson quote "everything is deeply intertwingled”, however as with most enlightening quotes, it helps to see macro properties but should not be expected to help solve micro intricacies.

Peter Morville is an information architect, which is very nice because it manages well the presentation of his argumen
Kent Winward
Mar 22, 2015 rated it liked it
The book is almost more interesting as a post-modern literary mash-up ala David Shield's Reality Hunger: A Manifesto than as a technology book on the impact of information. The book contains ideas, quotes and mash-ups of an entire slew of similarly themed books with Buddhist philosophy. The title raises the question, but doesn't really answer how everything is going to change.

I did like the following thoughts:

Information literacy is a necessary literacy and needs to be taught.
The ability to chan
Stuart Maxwell
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intertwingled is intertwingled

Information isn't singular. Boundaries are artificial, and not particularly helpful. Understanding comes through withstanding inputs crashing from all directions. This is the premise that Morville beautifully illustrates in Intertwingled. The book rambles from personal memoir to philosophy to information management treatise. Chapter markers are artificial. Understanding comes through assimilating Morville's varied inputs. It's a worthy effort.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
This started off interesting but just ended up feeling like an advertisement for the author's consulting firm. There were some interesting graphics and statistics about the use of information, but not enough to keep me feeling engaged. The book felt repetitive and like it could have probably been half as long and still made the same points.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a vaguely Luddite person it was nice to read such a enlightening exploration of information architecture and technology from the perspective of someone who uses biology, Buddhism, contradiction, consumerism, and a profound respect for the public library to illustrate rather icky business-oriented ideas. Overall, I appreciated this, even though it's not my thing.
J. Calvin
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read; it was really hard to put down.
This book is less about information and more about how it fits in with complex (adaptive) systems.

Like a good Information Architect, he also maintains
a goodreads shelf of all the references
Jun 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Somehow expected more given the hype and the concept. Lot's of references to other books I've read recently tied together in an interesting, but unfulfilling way. Would have made an interesting blog article, at that length the valuable part of the book would have been compressed enough to make it a great read. But, all in all, not bad.
Profound insights for our time, brought together pointedly in the last chapter. The writing & narration, IMO, are not as "great" as some others of my favorites, but the message is an enormously important "systems thinking" one in today's world.
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Disappointed in this. It's a rehash of systems theory with some personal anecdotes and some user experience design mixed in.

Although I did think he captured the climate crisis / overpopulation systems problem very well.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: usability, design
Having been a long time fan of Peter Morville, I found this book to be disappointing. It felt disjointed and rambling, with a lot of opinions about personal matters and not very much substance. Still enjoyed the read but felt it didn't provide as much as his other books.
Feb 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: information
This book brought together: nature, exercise, and technology! Wow, I am impressed with Morville's worldview. He crammed everything into this one book. Even though there is a bunch of technical jargon this is a good read on the state of information overload.
Joe Dollar-smirnov
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
this book is incredibly profound for a book about Information Architecture. It references, Buddhism, Vipassana, Global Warming, Marathon Running and the human race as hypocrites. Fairly easy read and will give you a very different view on IA and how we organise our lives.
Matthew Forr
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
About so much and nothing particular, in a good way

Peter follows an interesting thread in his book. That thread is how there are threads through everything we do and how unrelated things aren't really unrelated.

This is a great, relaxing, Sunday afternoon kind of read.
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nice read if focussed on Information Architecture
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Excellent and thought provoking for anyone who works with information, systems, and mostly people.
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Peter Morville is a pioneer of the fields of information architecture and user experience. He's been helping people to plan since 1994. Clients include AT&T, Cisco, eBay, Harvard, IBM, Macy's, the Library of Congress, and the National Cancer Institute. He has delivered keynotes and workshops in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His work has been covered by Business Wee ...more
“time when learning how to learn (and unlearn) is central to success. Instead of hiding from change, let’s embrace it. Each time we try something new, we get better at getting better. Experience builds competence and confidence, so we’re ready for the big changes, like re-thinking what we do.” 2 likes
“We must go from boxes to arrows. Tomorrow belongs to those who connect.” 1 likes
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