Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Emergent Social Search Experiences

This was a moderated panel discussion around social search. The panel discussed the definition of social search, why to do it and how.

They defined social search as social tagging.

You do it because it enhances the findability of an object.

There is a psychological burden of asking a question within an organization. "Didn't we hire you to know that?" There is also a cognitive load on asking and posting within an organization as people take the time to format the question well. People don't share because they don't want to tip their hand.

The Steve museum project explores leveraging social tagging to help identify and find art. They build the tools internally, but examples are on the web at www.steve.museum.com. They included a statistical analysis tool set to help tell when tags were useful. They found that the tags were useful for 80% of the time.

In a study with ACM, they found that when authors post tags themselves, they are precise but they are not very broad. They recycled the authors tags, added them to a pseudo controlled vocabulary and found more use of the tags that were created, and more tagging on the documents as a whole. Providing the leverage to reuse the tag, increased the usage of the tags. People saw the reuse as a value, giving them a reason them to tag in the first place.

In the Steve museum project, they had a two part study where some users know that they are helping an organization and others did not see a connection to a organization. The users who knew and saw the value they were adding were more than twice as likely to help.

ConnectBeam seems to have closed. They discussed it as a good product, but there does not seem to be any new products, and people have left the firm.
"Knowledge Plaza is interesting." No other data given on the product.
Arrdvark - ask a question, be routed to someone to answer it. Most of the QA is private.
Hunch is a system to find previous questions.

Panel sees these tools as a way to pull tacit knowledge from users.

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