The Turning Grille is written by Stuart Maxwell (stuart@turninggrille.com), an information architect and taxonomist living in Seattle, WA. This site focuses on topics such as structured data, the semantic web, and information management, and especially how these topics relate to empowering individuals to collect and use data in ways that are meaningful to them. I’m deeply inspired by and a close follower of the VRM movement.

What’s a Turning Grille?

In cryptography, a grille is a piece of paper with a pattern of holes cut out of it. When placed over a seemingly random collection of letters or numbers, the grille reveals a hidden message. A turning grille takes this one step further, allowing multiple messages to be revealed by rotating the grille on top of the same collection of characters. (More at Wikipedia.)

This, to me, is a metaphor for how personal data should work. Instead of housing personal information redundantly in multiple silos controlled by multiple entities whose interest is in mining and exploiting that data, individuals should be able to store their own structured data in a central location, and entities should provide services for revealing or making use of patterns of information in that data.