May 27, 2022

Video: A Talk at Microsoft Research: “The Science of Managing Our Digital Stuff” (Personal Information Management)

Below is an embed of a video recording of recent presentation by Professor Ofer Bergman, Department of Information Science at Bar-Ilan University (Israel). It was recorded on February 22, 2017 at Microsoft Research Labs in Redmond, Washington.

From the Description:

Personal Information Management (PIM) is an activity in which an individual stores personal information items (e.g. files, emails and Web favorites) in order to retrieve them later.

Despite the fact that PIM is a fundamental computer-based activity and millions of computer users manage their personal information on a daily basis, we nevertheless lack systematic scientific knowledge in this domain. The talk will review findings from a book Prof. Whittaker and I wrote, which was recently published by MIT Press. I will report on multiple studies that compared the use of the traditional folder method with various alternatives – search, tags and group information management. I will explain our counterintuitive results in terms of our new cognitive and neuropsychological findings. I will conclude by introducing the user-subjective approach, which is the first design approach dedicated specifically to PIM. Several of its implementations may be particularly useful for Microsoft products. The book was highly recommended by: Yvonne Rogers, John M. Carroll, Abigail Sellen and Robert Kraut.

Video Homepage (via MSFT Research)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.