The PIM Workshop
An NSF-Sponsored Invitational Workshop on Personal Information Management

January 27-29, 2005, Seattle, Washington
at the Watertown Hotel


Workshop Breakouts

The workshop included two sessions of breakouts.

  1. The session Friday morning explored current problem areas (& opportunities). What is the current state of things? What do we know? What should we be finding out? What should things look like in the future?
  2. The session on Friday afternoon explored promising approaches to PIM. How do alternate approaches compare? What support is needed?

Session 1: Problem Areas and Opportunities

Topic Facilitators Participants Description
1. Towards a field of PIM inquiry. Manuel Perez-Quinones,
William Jones
Mike Franklin,
Marcia Bates,
David Levy,
David Karger,
What is PIM anyway? What are its components? Which conceptual frameworks help? How do we measure progress? With what benchmarks? How to measure cost & benefit of new tools? (What about costs of transition between tools? The costs of fragmentation? etc.)
2. Finding, re-finding, reminding and "re-collection" of personal information. Jaime Teevan,
Nick Belkin
Rick Boardman,
Ofer Bergman,
Jacek Gwizdka,
Ben Bederson
"Re-collection" here refers to the challenge of gathering together a collection of information required to complete a task. What do we know? What should we be finding out?
3. Encountering, keeping and organizing information; maintaining an information collection. Cathy Marshall,
Harry Bruce
Brian Ross,
Tiziana Catarci,
Doug Gage,
David Maier
What do we know? What should we be finding out? What's the goal?
4. From PIM to "GIM". Jonathan Grudin,
Tom Erickson
Steve Whittaker,
Sue Dumais,
Alon Halevy
How does PIM relate to a group's management of information. Where does PIM fit in the business world? Who owns what? What about personal information others keep about me?
5. Measurement and Evaluation Diane Kelly Wanda Pratt,
Jim Gemmell,
Mary Czerwinski
What is the impact of a new PIM tool?  Good and bad?  How do we measure?  How do we know we’re making progress in PIM?  Is TREC a good model?  Session might expand to include methodologies of observation as well.

Session 2: Promising Approaches

Topic Facilitators Participants Description
6. Towards a unification & integration of PIM support. David Karger,
William Jones
Ofer Bergman,
Wanda Pratt,
Marcia Bates
Unified storage models. Defining an information layer of support. The integration of information management and the management of projects & tasks at a personal level.
7. Enhancements of personal information. David Maier,
Alon Halevy
Mike Franklin,
Ben Bederson,
Harry Bruce
Highlighting, annotating, linking, etc. Data-mining. The automated imposition of structure and semi-structure.
8. Search, finding, filtering and auto-classification. Susan Dumais,
Nick Belkin,
Diane Kelly
Jaime Teevan,
Rick Boardman,
Brian Ross
Will people still need to organize their information in the future? Will they need to keep information at all? What impacts will semantic web initiatives have on PIM?
9. Digital memories, ubiquitous computing Mary Czerwinski,
Jim Gemmell,
Doug Gage
Cathy Marshall,
Tiziana Catarci,
Manuel Perez
How does PIM change with the incidental, cost-free capture of personal information?
10. Beyond email… Steve Whittaker,
Jacek Gwizdka
Tom Erickson,
Jonathan Grudin,
David Levy
Email is increasingly everything. We send reminders to ourselves in email. We use it for task management, document versioning and lots of other things. Can we do better? What would "life beyond email" (as we know it) look like?

Several additional topics were considered and discussed in the large-group meetings including:

11. Special groups, special problems and "deep" applications of PIM including patient PIM
12. Teachable strategies of PIM
13. The uses of a database structure in PIM
14. The use of blogs and wikis in PIM
15. Uses of semantic web initiatives, in particular developments XML and RDF, in PIM
16. The evaluation of PIM tools
17. The role of schema and classification schemes in PIM