Information Architecture for Entrepreneurs 2.7: Blocks

The scroll through a facebook feed has parallels to the ceaseless flow of a river:

This blog is part of a larger class called Information Architecture for Entrepreneurs to help entrepreneurs effectively build their ventures.

The basic building blocks of systems are objects, channels, and energy. ​These objects combine into basic structures that are repeated over and over again across many different platforms. ​The combination of many basic structure form larger systems.

A block is a combination of base pairs into a larger structure.


Pools of information occur when there is depth of information under one heading. A user can dive deeper into these clusters and then emerge again. In Google Drive, these are pools of folders, or organized objects under one heading. In Slack, these pools take the form of threads that are smaller side-conversations within larger channels. Here people, instead of files, are in a pool.

In each structure, pools allow for greater focus and specificity around a more targeted topic.

Threaded messages on Slack.


Streams are used when systems have continual updating content. Streams are good for aggregating objects together. In the case of Twitter, the core object of the platform is the tweet. Users follow certain hash-tags or people, and in turn get a chronological stream of tweets that relate to these topics.

Entrepreneurs should integrate streams into their systems when they have continually updated content that is relevant to a large number of their users, and time is the largest factor in terms of what objects users find useful and engaging.

Twitter stream:


Feeds are a specific type of stream that organizes information not simply chronologically but based on an algorithm. Components of this algorithm can include highly upvoted content, relatedness to the user, and globally trending topics, amongst many other factors.

Entrepreneurs should utilize feeds when they have a large amount of continually updated content, and a very good handle on what myriad factors contribute to user engagement.

Facbeook feed:


Collections are groups of related objects. In Google docs, a Collection is composed of documents around a central topic. On Pinterest, a collection is composed of images that users have collected from other users or their streams that all share the same topic. For example, on Pinterest users can create boards around healthy eating, and save their own recipes and the recipes of other food bloggers.

Entrepreneurs should utilize collections when their platform has objects that have lasting relevance. These platforms grow value the more people add objects into their collections, because the simple act of aggregation means that users have a lower energy demand needed in their daily lives because of the platform. Once a collection of healthy food is created, users can more easily choose what to make for dinner. Users can also transfer collections to other people, which lowers the energy demanded of another user.

Pinterest board:[]=healthy%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=food%7Ctyped


This is a specific kind of pool of information with the connection being a specific user. This kind of pool is also constructed from a combination of the user’s own content and the content of other friends. The most famous construction is the Facebook wall.

Facebook wall:


A profile is a public accumulation of information on a specific user. Profiles depending on the goal of the larger community can store different kinds of information. On Facebook, a profile has a user’s collection of photo albums, their location, their relationship status. All of this data harkens back to Facebook beginnings as a sort of address book to find attractive connections across college campuses.

On Reddit, a profile has a user’s reputation score on it and communities in which they are active. This reputation score is the accumulation of the positive karma the user has gotten in their interactions on Reddit. This relates to Reddit’s overall goal as a platform where users contribute content to specific communities.

A reddit profile:

Entrepreneurs should utilize profiles when there are person-to-person (like Facebook) or object-to-person (like Amazon) interactions. Profiles are especially useful when tied to an aggregation mechanism. On Facebook, people build pools of photos that makes the network have more staying power. On Amazon, users build reputations that are displayed on their profiles. Previous positive reviews contributes to a higher reputation score, which in turn contributes to more people buying their products.




Interaction Writer and CEO of Adjacent

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Jason Egan of Egan Escape Productions: From Avocation To Vocation; How I Turned My Hobby Into A…

The Inside Scoop: August 2021

Advice from an HP Tech Ventures Partner: A conversation with James Taylor

Jen Panaro of WasteWell: From Avocation To Vocation; How I Turned My Hobby Into A Career

Bootstrapping the Moonlight marketplace as a digital nomad

It’s Real: the London Real Business Accelerator Program.

Empowering Businesses with FunnelAI: A Conversation with Sridhar Kamma

How Women Can Get Involved in the NFT Space with Avery Akkineni

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Rachel Aliana

Rachel Aliana

Interaction Writer and CEO of Adjacent

More from Medium

UX Review of Weee App — Grocery App for Asians in North America

Clubhouse Analysis

Clubhouse’s monthly retention cohorts

Imagine If Your Digital Product Was A Hotel…