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  • 1. Tagging – From Personal to Social: Some Observations & Design Principles Rashmi Sinha Uzanto
  • 2. Structure of Talk
    • My Perspective
    • Tagging on a Personal Level
      • Compared to categorization
    • Social Systems formed by Tagging
    • Tagging & Wisdom of Crowds
    • Some weaknesses
    • 9 Design Principles
  • 3. Cognition in the wild
    • Cognitive Anthropology: Understanding culture by understanding cognition
    • Two main methods
      • Pile Sorting
      • Freelisting
  • 4. Free-listing
    • Goals
      • Explore boundaries & scope of domain
      • Capture cultural consensus
      • Gain familiarity with user vocabulary
    • Strengths
      • Simplicity
      • Flexibility
        • Conducted as part of interview, or as written exercise
      • “ Name all the x's you know.”
  • 5. Digital Categorization Multiple concepts activated Choose ONE of the activated concepts. Categorize it! Object worth remembering (article, image…) Analysis-Paralysis!
    • Analysis Paralysis
    • Balancing your scheme
    • Over time – category boundaries change, labels obsolete
  • 6.
    • Cannot place in more than one place
    • Disappears from view
    • Mistakes are costly
  • 7. Tagging is simpler Multiple concepts are activated Tag it! Note all concepts Object worth remembering (article, image…)
    • Goal is to categorize
    • Maps to cognitive process
    • Reduced load
    • Fun, Self-feedback, social feedback
    • Less balancing of scheme
  • 8. Tagging still leads to anxiety
    • Differs from person to person
      • And by domain
    • Solution not simpler input process (though that could help)
      • Confidence in finding
  • 9. Some hypothesis
    • Tagging takes lesser time than categorizing
      • Users generate tags/categorize for new emails / bookmarks
      • Measure : Time to categorize compared to time for 1 OR 2 OR 3 tags
    • Categories are more memorable than a tag
      • Give users 30 secs. per item to generate tag OR categorize
      • Measure : Recall of tag / category after a week
    • Comparing different types of tags
      • Personal tags are more memorable than Semantic ones
        • Measure : Tag recall after a week
      • Semantic tags are generated first
        • Measure : Order of Semantic and Personal tag generation
  • 10. Hypothesis (cont)
    • Hierarchy & non-exclusivity
      • Compare time taken
      • Recall
      • Difficulty
    (D) Categorization (C) Flat Categorization Exclusive (B) Hierarchical Tagging (A) Tagging Non-Exclusive Hierarchical Flat
  • 11. The Personal to the Social
  • 12. Browsing alone
  • 13. Along together
    • Alone together (Ducheneaut et al. CHI 2006)
      • Passive presence of others
      • Playing for the audience but not necessarily interacting
    • Social facilitation (Zajonc, 1960)
      • Improvement in performance in presence of others
      • Presence does not need to be active
      • Observed even in cockroaches!
  • 14. Tagging as second generation social network
    • Actually useful!
    • Lots of weak ties (Granovetter: The strength of weak ties )
      • Social networks emphasize strong ties (lists of contacts, friendship ratings)
    • Objects (tags) mediate social relationships
      • Objects are reasons people affiliate with each other
      • Provide context for relationship. Means for new relationships.
      • Theory: Object centered sociality (sociologist Karin Knorr Cetina)
    • Application: Interest based groups
      • Collaborative Tagging & Expertise in the Enterprise (John & Seligman)
      • Fringe Contacts: People Tagging for the Enterprise (Ferrell & Lau)
  • 15. Tagging and Wisdom of Crowds
    • Cognitive Diversity
    • Independence
    • Decentralization
    • Easy Aggregation
  • 16. 1. Cognitive Diversity
    • Need many perspectives for good answers
    • Groups become homogenous
      • Members bring less and less new information in
      • Varying levels of insight & knowledge provide good mix
        • Better than everyone having a lot of knowledge!
    • Diversity reduces groupthink
      • Groupthink works by shielding members from outside opinions
      • Rationalize away counterarguments
    • Diversity reduces conformity
      • Chance that you will change opinion to match group
  • 17. 2. Independence
    • Keeps people’s mistakes from getting correlated (uncorrelated mistakes averaged out)
    • Encourages people to bring in new viewpoints (diversity)
    • Concept of Social Proof
      • Milgram experiment
      • People assume that groups know what they are doing
      • Assuming crowd is wise, leads to herd like behavior
        • Can sometimes lead to good decisions
  • 18. 2. Independence (cont.)
    • Information Cascades
      • Sequence of uninformed choices, building upon each other
        • Example: Thai & Indian restaurant
        • Information is imperfect – sometimes incorrect, sometimes correct
        • Decisions made in sequence
          • Everyone relies on own information
          • And what everyone else is doing
          • Wrong information propagates down in a chain
      • Ideal when people make decision relying on private information
        • Compare Del.icio.us & digg
      • Information Cascades can be good
        • Example: Iowa farmers decision about hybrid corn
  • 19. Imitation & Suggestion
    • Intelligent & mindless imitation
      • Human beings are imitation machines
      • Imitation is a good thing
        • Bad when you don’t reply on private information
        • And don’t make independent judgment
          • Example: Japanese macaques learning to separate wheat from stones
      • Build some method to let people evaluate tag suggestions
    • Imitation & Suggestion in Tagging Systems
      • Lazy Sheep bookmarklet
      • Google Suggest approach
      • Towards the Semantic Web: Collaborative Tag Suggestions (Xu et al.)
      • Implicit Tagging using Donated Bookmarks (Markines, et al.)
  • 20. 3. Decentralization
    • Encourages independence
    • Takes advantage of tacit knowledge
      • People have specialized knowledge that might not be communicable to right person in centralized structure
      • Problems: Valuable information uncovered in one part of the system does not get communicated to another part
        • Need some type of loose coordination
    “ A crowd of decentralized people working to solve a problem on their own without any central effort to guide them, come up with better solutions, rather than a top-down driven solution.” Suroweicki
  • 21. 4. Easy Aggregation
    • A decentralized system can pick right solution
      • With easy way for information to be aggregated across system
    • Example: Francis Galton
      • A crowd of people made independent decisions
      • He added the votes
  • 22. Some Weaknesses of tag-based Social Systems
  • 23. 1. Tag Specificity, Expertise & Perspective
    • Shirky example: Dewey Decimals categorization of world religions
    • What about Flickr?
      • Hinduism: 6512 photos
      • Christianity: 5207 photos
  • 24. Tagging systems are better, but…
    • Tagging systems represent people who participate in them
      • Their viewpoints & perspective
    • Types of biases
      • In-groups might use more specific tags than Out-groups
      • Experts might use more specific tags than novices
  • 25. 2. No easy way to show minority viewpoint
    • Consensus viewpoint bubbles up
      • How to give alternative viewpoints a voice?
    • Example: Catholic Church recognizes Devil’s advocate
  • 26. 3. Why Amazon tags did not work
    • No clear articulation of benefits
    • Mixed with other, more common participation methods
    • Busy interface
    • No organic growth (seeding with select few)
  • 27.
    • Too many options?
  • 28. 4. Adoption by Average User
    • Tag navigation does not suit user task?
    • Users do not understand its for navigation?
  • 29. Design Principles for Tagging Systems
  • 30. #1: Make System Personally Useful
    • For end-user system should have strong personal use
      • Memorable Personal Snippets (e.g., Del.icio.us & Flickr)
      • Self-expression (e.g., Newsvine)
      • My expertise or interests (RawSugar)
    • Don’t count on altruism
      • System should thrive on people’s selfishness
      • Incent the behavior you want
    • Clearly communicate benefits to users
      • Create a positive reinforcement cycle
  • 31. del.icio.us Useful before Saving First Link
  • 32. #2:Identify Symbiotic Relationship Between Personal & Social
    • Individual participation in system should naturally aggregate into social stream
      • What personal snippets do people like to share?
      • Personal snippets > Social stream
        • Example
          • Pictures > Organized by Events
          • Music > Organized by Playlists
  • 33. #3: Make Porous Boundary Between Public & Private
    • Earlier systems
      • Personal (Personal Desktop Software, e.g., Picasa, EndNote)
      • OR Social websites (Shutterfly)
    • Rethink public & private
      • People will share for the right returns
      • Set defaults to public, allow easy change to private
        • Provide clear benefit of sharing
    • Give user control
        • Over individual pieces & sets
        • Delete items from history
        • Reset /remove profile
    Privacy settings on Flickr
  • 34. #4: Provide Outlet for Self-expression
    • Creative self-expression
      • Artistic expression (Flickr, YouTube)
      • Humor (YouTube)
    • Individual piece should be small
      • Can create sets & lists
      • Do Mashups
      • Simple, guessable URLs for everything
    • Leave room for games & social play
      • Appreciation
      • Stalking (some!)
      • Gossip
    Writers on Newsvine
  • 35. #4a. Allow for Different Types of Participation
    • Social sites don’t require 100% active participation
      • Implicit creation (creating by consuming)
      • Remixing—adding value to others’ content
    Source: Bradley Horowitz’s weblog, Elatable, Feb. 17, 2006, “Creators, Synthesizers, and Consumers”
  • 36. #4b. How to Encourage Participation
    • Insights from Social Psychology research
      • Highlight unique contribution
      • Allow for smaller local groups
      • Highlight benefit to self from participation
      • Highlight benefit to group
    Source: Using social psychology to motivate contributions to online communities, Ling et al. 2005
  • 37. #5. Provide Scent of Others in the System
    • What paths are well worn, what are not
    • User profiles / photos
    • Real-time updating
      • Feels like a conversation
      • sense that others are out there
    What people are digging right now!
  • 38. #6. And yet, Moments of Independence
    • Choreography: when alone, when part of group
    • Prevent mobs, optimize “wisdom of crowds”
    • Don’t make it too easy to mimic others
      • Incentives for originality & uniqueness
  • 39. #7. Enable Serendipity
    • Don’t make navigation all about popularity
      • Access to some popular stuff (keep this fast moving)
    • Make the “long tail” accessible
      • Use popularity as a jump off point to other ways of exploring
    • Provide personalization
      • Recommendations using collaborative filtering
        • Similar tags, content, others
    • Ad-hoc groups?
  • 40. #8. Allow for alternative viewpoints & perspectives
    • Tags bias perspective in specific manner
      • People of a group know more
        • Likely to use more specific tags
        • Hence less exposure (no hierarchy)
      • Similar problem for experts
  • 41. #9. Keep input simple. Solve problems with good findability
    • Tagging shows success of simplicity
      • Don't’ increase cognitive cost of tagging
    • Tagging systems can support different types of findability
      • Some metaphors
  • 42. #9a. User Experience for Faceted Browse Interfaces
    • User is in control
    • Every movement (forward, making a turn) is a conscious choice
      • System should provide information at every step
    • If user makes mistakes, she can go back or start again
    Like driving a car…
  • 43. #9b. User Experience with Recommender Systems
    • User has less control over specifics of interaction
    • System does not provide information about specifics of action
    • More of a “black box” model (some input from user, output from systems)
    Like riding a roller coaster…
  • 44. User Experience with Browsing Tagging Systems
    • Pivot Browsing
      • Move at a slower pace
      • Get the lay of the land, directly experience surroundings
      • Change paths when you want
      • Choose paths based on what looks promising, how well worn, what signs say
    Like a hike in the woods
  • 45. You can do all three with tags
    • Faceted Systems from Tags
      • Inducing Ontology from Flickr, Schmitz
    • Collaborative Filtering from Tags
      • Automatic Tag Clustering, Begelman, Keller & Smajda
    • Pivot Browsing on Tagging Systems
      • Tag-Based Navigation for Peer-to-Peer Wikipedia, Fokker et al.
  • 46. Parting thoughts
    • Tagging is in the eyes of the tagger
      • Can implicit tagging be tagging?
    • Tagging by others is more useful than tagging by self
      • Is tagging about harnessing consensus or personal perspective?
    • Will Categorization will be back?
      • Better interface
      • Non-exclusive
  • 47.
    • Questions?
    • [email_address]
    • URLs
    • www.uzanto.com
    • www.rashmisinha.com
  • 48.
    • “In essence tag systems mirror the pagerank structure of Google's system, but make the internal structures browsable and viewable directly.”
      • Lee Iverson