Taxonomy, Social Networks and Pace Layering


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Roger Hudson discusses the roles of search, taxonomy and social networks in information classification and retrieval. Can pace-layering help us find the best approach.

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  • Hi And thanks to Eric for inviting me to speak at Oz-IA 2008. I should probably add the word search to the title of my talk because I plan to delve a little into this as well.
  • Taxonomy, Social Networks and Pace Layering

    1. Taxonomy, Search, Roger Hudson Web Usability 21 September 2008 Social Networks and Pace Layering
    2. Doctor Who: “Silence in the Library”
    3. Danger lurking in the shadows
    4. Why in the information age do we see a decline in research skills? Why are clients handing information retrieval from their sites over to other people?
    5. “ Most people come to my site from Google so Information Architecture is no longer important!”
    6. Developers keen to explore new heights and push the boundaries of their craft
    7. Or perhaps, to out cool the cool!
    8. Finding the balance Contradictory forces
    9. Not about good guys and bad guys
    10. <ul><li>Daily Internet usage: </li></ul><ul><li>60% of users are using email </li></ul><ul><li>49% use search engines </li></ul><ul><li>39% news sites </li></ul><ul><li>13% social networking sites </li></ul>Google has 68% of search engine share Hitwise (March, 2008) Pew Internet and lifestyle project (August, 2008)
    11. What do we want from search engines? Relevance, Relevance, Relevance! Recall: Percentage of total relevant documents retrieved from all possible documents. Precision: Percentage of documents retrieved that match the searchers needs. Full recall with high precision is the aim. But who decides what is relevant?
    12. This guy Newtown, did he discover gravity? Give me the facts, nothing but the facts!
    14. Did he?
    15. “ Facts are not knowledge. Information is not wisdom. And for many consumers today, more raw data does not necessarily improve their daily lives.” Professor Nancy F. Koehn, Harvard Business School “ Information is not knowledge Knowledge is not wisdom Wisdom is not truth Truth is not beauty” Frank Zappa, Packard Goose (Joe’s Garage)
    16. Infantilization of adults <ul><li>Fast food </li></ul><ul><li>Fast money </li></ul><ul><li>Fast relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Shop ‘till you drop! </li></ul>“ This is not just attention deficit disorder but compulsory attention disorder, defined by a culture in which we are dissuaded from concentration and continuity and rewarded for pursuing jump-cut lives” Benjamin Barber, “Consumed”, 2007
    17. Growing reliance on web-wide search
    18. I want the answer, I need the answer, I want it NOW! Desire for instant gratification
    19. “ The Google search engine has two important features: First, it makes use of the link structure of the Web to calculate a quality ranking for each web page. This ranking is called PageRank. Second, Google utilizes link(s) to improve search results.” “ The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine” Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page
    20. “ The “rich-get-richer” phenomenon can be particularly problematic for the ‘high-quality’ pages that were recently created.” “ Impact of Search Engines on Page Popularity” Junghoo Cho and Sourashis Roy “ PageRank is an excellent way to prioritize the results of web keyword searches.” Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page
    21. Most popular search queries 2001 - 2005 <ul><li>Britney </li></ul><ul><li>Harry Potter </li></ul><ul><li>Brad and Angelina </li></ul>“ The number of documents in the indices has been increasing by many orders of magnitude, but the user's ability to look at documents has not. People are still only willing to look at the first few tens of results.” Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page
    22. “ The ACCC is alleging that Google, by failing to adequately distinguish sponsored links from &quot;organic&quot; search results, has engaged and continues to engage in misleading and deceptive conduct.“ Australian Competition & Consumer Commission ,July 2007
    23. “ I predict that liberation from search engines will be one of the biggest strategic issues for websites in the coming years. The question is: How can websites devote more of their budgets to keeping customers, rather than simply advertising for new visitors?” Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, 2006
    24. Bring on the folk! “ The advantage of folksonomies isn’t that they’re better than controlled vocabularies, it’s that they’re better than nothing.” Clay Shirkey, 2005
    25. Social software “ A folksonomy is a set of uncontrolled tags provided by individuals for their own retrieval purposes of that object and these tags are shared publicly .” Thomas Vander Wal
    26. <ul><li>‘ Folksonomy’ is an open-ended labelling system that allows users to categorise online content. </li></ul><ul><li>Users provide descriptive keywords or ‘tags’, which use familiar, shared vocabularies. </li></ul>Folksonomy and Tagging Folksonomy is the sharing of tags provided by different users. Assumption: If enough people tag an object, interesting and useful patterns will emerge.
    27. Looking for answers: 2006 survey Survey participants: <ul><li>10 media workers (radio reporters and producers) </li></ul><ul><li>10 library workers (librarians, archivists and researchers) </li></ul><ul><li>10 web workers (producers, designers and developers) </li></ul><ul><li>10 museum workers (scientists and program managers) </li></ul>Key questions: <ul><li>Are they aware of tags and social booking marking? </li></ul><ul><li>What sort of tags might they use? </li></ul><ul><li>How likely are they to tag in the future? </li></ul>
    28. Tag these photos 67 different tags, 47 unique 49 different tags, 29 unique
    29. At the end of the survey each participant was asked: <ul><li>Comments include: </li></ul><ul><li>I just want to get the information and get out. </li></ul><ul><li>I might if it helps other people. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t have the time. </li></ul><ul><li>What’s in it for me? </li></ul>Never Infrequently Sometimes Often Always 4 15 10 6 5 “ If in the future you could provide tags for web content (pages, images) that might be helpful to you and other users , how often would you do this? ”
    30. Pushing the boundaries
    31. “ The Brooklyn Museum believes in community and in the importance of the visitor experience. In this area you'll find a number of ways to connect with us: blogs, photo and video submissions, podcasts, and more. We look forward to hearing from you.”
    32. ....
    33. Web Tools Survey: 2008 Aims: Obtain an insight into the usage of some of the more recent web tools. See if there is any difference in the usage by web workers and general users of the web.
    34. Issues considered: <ul><li>Providing comments on web pages </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Tagging content and using tags to retrieve content </li></ul><ul><li>Use of video and/or photo sharing sites </li></ul><ul><li>Use of social networking sites </li></ul><ul><li>Use of RSS </li></ul>Web Tools Survey: 2008
    35. Web Tools Survey: 2008 Participants (n=90) Web professionals (n=30) Web users (n=60) <ul><li>Evangelists (WSG meeting attendees) </li></ul><ul><li>Workers (employed on website production) </li></ul><ul><li>Australian Museum staff (scientists and project officers) </li></ul><ul><li>Amnesty International Australia (volunteers and staff) </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers (high school and primary school) </li></ul><ul><li>Tertiary students </li></ul><ul><li>Media workers (ABC journalists and broadcasters) </li></ul><ul><li>General public </li></ul>
    36. Web Tools Survey: 2008 Overview of questions 21 questions to determine how a particular web tool or feature is used. For example;
    37. Web Tools Survey: 2008 Overall results Average usage of all tools by survey categories: Web professionals: Used by 62% of participants Web users: Used by 38% of participants <ul><li>Web evangelists: 84% </li></ul><ul><li>Web workers: 51% </li></ul><ul><li>Tertiary students: 63% </li></ul><ul><li>Media workers: 43% </li></ul><ul><li>Museum staff: 35% </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers: 25% </li></ul><ul><li>General public: 23% </li></ul>
    38. Web Tools Survey: 2008 Passive use (% of participants) 27 65 90 Used tags or tag cloud to find web resource 72 60 100 Visited someone's page on social network site (eg Myspace) 85 85 100 Visited photo/video sharing site (eg Flickr) Non-web people Web Workers WSG Evangelists
    39. Web Tools Survey: 2008 Active use (% of participants) 18 20 90 Tagged web content 55 60 100 Own social network page (eg Myspace) 32 50 60 Commented on photo/video (eg Flickr) 22 45 70 Posted photo/video 34 55 85 Made comment on web page or blog Non-web people Web Workers WSG Evangelists
    40. Web Tools Survey: 2008 Use by age difference (% of participants) 34 37 Subscribe to RSS 17 44 Tagged web content 40 97 Own social network page (eg Myspace) 29 62 Commented on photo/video (eg Flickr) 28 44 Posted photo/video 40 56 Made comment on web page or blog 31 yrs or more (n=58) 30 yrs or less (n=32)
    41. Can we learn anything from the 2008 survey?
    42. Where to go?
    43. What determines the size/colour of the suburbs? Time for a quick tagging quiz
    44. Fast rate of change Slow rate of change Stuff Pace-Layering Stuart Brand introduced “Pace Layering” in his book “ How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built ” Skin Space plan Services Structure Site
    45. Pace layering - key elements <ul><li>Changes that happen at one layer filter down </li></ul><ul><li>Differing rates of change cause friction between layers </li></ul><ul><li>The different rates of change are beneficial </li></ul>&quot;The fast parts learn, propose, and absorb shocks; the slow parts remember, integrate, and constrain. The fast parts get all the attention. The slow parts have all the power.” Steward Brand, The Long Now Foundation
    46. Fashion & art Commerce Infrastructure Governance Culture Nature Content, services, interface Adaptive finding tools Controlled vocabulary Enabling technologies Embedded navigation Faceted classification Information architecture layers “ Speed of Information Architecture ”, Peter Morville “ Clock of the Long Now ”, Stewart Brand Pace-Layering in society Fast Slow Fast Slow
    47. Pace layering and the web
    48. Pace layering and the web
    49. Pace layering and the web
    50. Pace layering and the web
    51. Can pace-layering help clients and developers determine the best approach?
    52. Site Production: Traditional Levels of Decisions & Influence Least influence and power Most influence and power
    53. Pace-Laying view Spheres of influence
    54. Processes Pace-Laying view
    55. Pace-Laying view Processes
    56. Pace-Laying view Processes
    57. Conclusion Change is constant
    58. Thankyou Roger Hudson Web Usability 0405 320 014 [email_address]