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Putnam,
 
Thanks for your suggestions -- I found them both stimulating and
amusing.
 
User interfaces really are a BIG DEAL.  One of the projects that
got me started in the "community" networking area was something
mentioned to be from a visiting post-doc from Vienna -- he was
doing a "habilitation thesis" (sp) on a "Downtown Information
System."  His starting point was the BTX (videotext) systems
common in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.  What representations
help us find the things we want to find.
 
One of the hard things to design in is "Serendipity" -- you can't
always find what you want -- but you can find something almost as
good near by.  If you get to the right neighborhood, you can roam
around a bit.
 
Ciao
Steve