Brussels / 2 & 3 February 2019


Memex: Collaborative Web-Research

Building the perfect knowledge management tool? Impossible?

An introduction to a collaborative Memex. Are you also annoyed that it is 2018 and you still have to bookmark stuff? Or that your notes about your web research are scattered everywhere? In this talk we give a brief introduction into Memex. It's an open-source browser extension to organise your web-research. Full-text search everything you've seen on the web, archive and annotate websites and collaborate with your peers in your web-research. With a unique mix of open-source software, data interoperability and a non-speculative economic model called Steward Ownership, our team attempts to enable the democratisation of knowledge management software.

We use 15th century tools to organise 21st century knowledge. Our apps are disconnected and our data de-contextualised. To organise the things we see online, we can't use the power of the brain to connect everything. To remember every piece of information in relation to each other. At we built an open-source Memex trying to change this by enabling people to ditch the effort of bookmarking, and instead instantly find things by just using the combination of vague memories they have. "That article I saw last year on Twitter, with the words 'cats in tuxedos' somewhere in the text. Ah yeah it was while I was at FOSDEM!" > this query now takes seconds to execute.

But we are not trying to be the only Memex in town. We are not trying to build a monopoly and lock people and their data into this service. We aim to get everyone the best Memex for their workflows. One that you can adapt to your needs, easily move between variations and never lose access to your social network. But that does not work with the old paradigms of trying to build one-size-fits all monopolies. We believe that interoperability, open-source software, and economic models that don't require us to constantly grow are key to get us all there.

In this talk we give a brief introduction to the current features of Memex, what we have in mind for the next 12 months to let you better collaborate, and how exactly we attempt to democratise the development of knowledge management software.


Oliver Sauter