Ontology: Social Order


Meaningful combinations of signs and expressions that appeal to the human cognitive functions, considered in isolation of their carriers.

For example, the authored work, a poem, or a picture as it is protected by intellectual property right, but not the book or media on which it has been recorded (the carrier).

Or with other words, the carrier + the content is a produced asset.

The content considered in isolation could also be called an intellectual asset.

Content Life Cycle

Content comes into existence as it is put on a carrier, by writing, drawing, or printing it on a piece of paper, typing it into a computers memory, carving it on a tree or a wall, or carving it in the sand of a beach,….

Next, it can be consulted or read between zero and innumerable times, until it is erased, or until its carrier is destroyed. For computer memories, suitable technology is needed for consultation. For written text, the knowledge of the written language is a pre-condition for understanding the content.

The understanding that links content to meaning is part of a socio-semiotic interaction, on which more details are available at Semiotic Interactions (Interaction Dictionary).

Content can also be copied from one carrier to another carrier.

Socio-Semiotic Analytics

As content's life cycle is part of socio-semiotic interactions, it is proposed to make content chunks comparable for what concerns their performance in those interactions, as they are produced, distributed and consumed.
How much effort does it take to create the content, how often is the content consulted, and with what developmental impact, over which period of time?

At Person some basic measures are defined for the access and impact of content on persons in a population.
The measures are called: CASP1, PASP2, CIPC3, Exp4 and i-gap5.
Let us now give some examples.

The math problem case

Consider the population of n pupils in a class, and their teacher proposing a problem case with the expectation that all will answer the problem correctly (exp=n) . Each pupil answers the problem individually on paper, with k (<n) answering wrong (i-gap = n-k), and next the teacher provides a correct answer on the blackboard.

The answer s (which may be wrong), and correct version s', have these socio-semiotic performances:

  • PASP(s) = 1 (for each answer produced by a pupil)
  • CIPC(s) = n-k (k pupils give wrong answer, their content has not the intended impact)
  • PASP(s') = 1; CASP(s') = n (the teacher's answer is consumed by each pupil)
  • CIPC(s,s') = n (the correct answer is consumed, and understood, by each pupil)

Content Kinds


Established content kinds include for instance:

  • Lexicon
  • Grammar
  • Documents, see Scribd for a global open document repository, with dashboard functions regarding document use.
  • Videos, see YouTube for a global open video repository, with dashboard functions regarding video use.
  • Encyclopedia, see for instance Wikipedia
  • Wiki-farms, see for instance Wikidot
  • Blogs


(Development) programmes and projects can be enabled by several new and emerging content kinds:

  • Bibliographic Databases
  • Journal repositories
  • Content Commons Dictionaries and Atlasses, see Systematized Content Commons
  • Durable Actants, as explained at Actant Dictionary
  • Microblog publishing-subscribing service, for instance Twitter