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Evolution, the web, and social computing in business


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The web has come a long way over the last 15 years, from its humble beginnings with text browsers like Lynx, through the browser wars and now with social computing and Web 2.0

This presentation looks at the evolution of the web, gives examples of modern social computing applications, and gives a case study of its application in government.

Published in: Business, Technology

Evolution, the web, and social computing in business

  1. Evolution, the web, and social computing in business Matthew Hodgson ACT regional-lead, Web and Information Management 15 October 2007
  3. Evolution
  4. Internet (alpha) Email Telnet Internet Relay Chat (IRC) Kermit Newsgroups Multi-user Domains (MUDs)
  5. Web 1.0 Lynx Browser Wars Microsoft FrontPage Sausage Software Mosaic Netscape Altavista ICQ Email Internet Explorer Dreamweaver HTML Adobe PDF
  6. Web 2.0 What is it? AJAX RSS Atom XML XHTML Tagging Folksonomies Podcasting Vodcasting Wikis Blogs REST SOAP API CSS Microformats Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  7. Tim O’Reilley on Web 2.0 <ul><li>“… the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform…” </li></ul>
  8. Shocked about new social technology?
  9. Web 2.0 “ Social Computing” AJAX RSS Atom XML XHTML Tagging Folksonomies Podcasting Vodcasting Wikis Blogs REST SOAP API CSS Microformats Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Sharing Collaboration User-centred Accessibility Joy of use Personlisation Networking Connecting Communicating Wisdom of Crowds
  10. YouTube – sharing video <ul><li>Features </li></ul><ul><li>Share video </li></ul><ul><li>Tag video (folksonomic navigation) </li></ul><ul><li>Who? </li></ul><ul><li>Labor demands election campaign debates posted on YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Labor posted video on climate change, education, skills and training, and representation. </li></ul><ul><li>Australian Democrats posted a video that mocks the new Australian citizenship test </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-smoking academics are accusing tobacco companies of advertising on YouTube </li></ul>
  11. Flickr – sharing photos <ul><li>Features </li></ul><ul><li>Upload photos </li></ul><ul><li>Share photos </li></ul><ul><li>Tag photos </li></ul><ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><li>Photographers </li></ul><ul><li>Some naughty companies </li></ul>
  12. – sharing bookmarks <ul><li>Features </li></ul><ul><li>Post bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Synchronise bookmarks rather than store them on one computer </li></ul><ul><li>Share bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Re-use bookmarks through the API on the company intranet </li></ul><ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><li>SMS “mobile consultants” </li></ul><ul><li>National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) in London </li></ul>
  13. Facebook – building online communities <ul><li>Features </li></ul><ul><li>Powerful social networking hub </li></ul><ul><li>Good way to create ‘community’ and brand loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Share profiles and interests with friends and business associates </li></ul><ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone from average Joe to big business </li></ul><ul><li>Accenture, Amazon, Apple, EA, Gap, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft, Pepsi, PWC and Teach for America. </li></ul>
  14. SlideShare <ul><li>Features </li></ul><ul><li>Share (PowerPoint) presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Share podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Folksonomic (tagging) navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><li>Academics </li></ul><ul><li>Conference presenters </li></ul><ul><li>Clergy (online sermons!) </li></ul><ul><li>Adult industry (PowerPoint porn) </li></ul>
  15. Wikis & Wikipedia <ul><li>Features </li></ul><ul><li>Information collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Instant access to edit, update, comment & discuss </li></ul><ul><li>Who </li></ul><ul><li>AGIMO to share corporate policy and guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>CIA to share intelligence (esp. on terrorism) </li></ul><ul><li>Qld state govt to share information between departments </li></ul>
  16. What do these have in common? <ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Each uses different technology </li></ul><ul><li>Folksonomies (tagging) seems to be a key component </li></ul><ul><li>Support team work </li></ul><ul><li>Support team interaction on tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Share information </li></ul><ul><li>Help classify information </li></ul><ul><li>Support team interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Support team interaction, communication and social cohesion </li></ul><ul><li>Psych literature tells us that both task and social support are critical to a team’s long term survival </li></ul>
  17. Key messages <ul><li>When thinking about building systems: </li></ul><ul><li>Understand and support team interaction on tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Understand and support team interaction, communication and social cohesion </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not about a technology-driven solution </li></ul>
  18. A case study <ul><li>The issues: </li></ul><ul><li>Two different cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Two different perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction problems </li></ul><ul><li>Need to: </li></ul><ul><li>Share information </li></ul>
  19. Goldilocks and Porridge
  20. Three Bears and Porridge
  21. Information disconnect
  22. Govt. department and information disconnect
  23. The problem <ul><li>“ How can you determine what’s in these reports so that one world view can inform the other?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ How do you create business processes and tools that connects these two world views of information?” </li></ul>- Mark Allenby, SMS Consultant
  25. A typical approach Might meet the businesses needs Would it meet users’ needs?
  26. Using a taxonomy? <ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Need to have a finite set of ‘things’ to build a good taxonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Content of reports are not finite and change over time </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t fit people’s personal view of information </li></ul><ul><li>No one will use it (except for the experts) </li></ul><ul><li>Extensibility </li></ul><ul><li>Taxonomy needs to be redesigned to adapt to new information </li></ul>
  27. <ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Good as a ‘filing cabinet’ for documents </li></ul><ul><li>Good for records managers </li></ul><ul><li>Not designed to match the way users’ think about their own information (corporate way only) </li></ul><ul><li>Not designed for other things like ‘sharing information’ </li></ul><ul><li>Tower Software uses a wiki to share knowledge and information </li></ul>Using TRIM (recordkeeping system)?
  28. A tagging approach <ul><li>“… instead [of using a system], you may want to capture and communicate… the essence of what is talked about by using free text tagging (like they do with blogs and wikis)…” </li></ul>- Matt’s response
  29. Selling tagging Currently tracking over 8 million tags 5 years and millions of tags and users 8 years worth of tagged, public, online diary and information websites All user/self-classified information
  30. Tagging = users’ view of information <ul><li>Benefits for users: </li></ul><ul><li>Chosen by the user </li></ul><ul><li>Not part of a formal taxonomy (my way, not the corporate way of thinking) </li></ul><ul><li>Adapts easily to new information </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible and easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits for the business: </li></ul><ul><li>People want to use it - high level of participation </li></ul><ul><li>Information still gets classified </li></ul><ul><li>Tag clouds show frequency of terms for reporting </li></ul>
  31. Applying Garrett’s User-Centred Design Methodology See also:
  32. Scope phase <ul><li>Big gaps in information and little communications between stakeholders and the Department due to different world-views </li></ul><ul><li>Some documented process , but without documented workflow or governance </li></ul><ul><li>No tools or supporting systems </li></ul>
  33. Solution <ul><li>Facilitate information storage & communication </li></ul><ul><li>Create a place to share information and knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Invite and encourage stakeholders to participate </li></ul><ul><li>Establish governance </li></ul><ul><li>Document roles and responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Document process </li></ul><ul><li>Provide tools and systems </li></ul><ul><li>Support business process </li></ul><ul><li>Support the way people think about their own information </li></ul><ul><li>If tools are usable they will be used </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on connecting people, information and knowledge </li></ul>
  34. Tagging and Topic Maps Topic maps = connected information
  35. Wikis to store knowledge
  37. Department’s term in their Corporate taxonomy Related tags users have Created and related to the term ‘policy’
  38. Social computing tools in this case study <ul><li>Tagging </li></ul><ul><li>Good for user classification of information </li></ul><ul><li>Good for representing information based on the user’s own world-view </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Good for communication </li></ul><ul><li>Good for sharing information and knowledge to reinforcing social cohesion between groups </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to create and maintain content </li></ul><ul><li>Easy and cheap to setup </li></ul><ul><li>Topic Maps </li></ul><ul><li>The glue that connects disconnected information </li></ul>
  39. Key messages <ul><li>The more our computers are connected, the more we realise how disconnected our information is </li></ul><ul><li>Social computing tools can connect people, information and knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Use social computing tools in “smart ways” to serve growing user demand to interact directly with government </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to concentrate on the “social”-part, not the “computing” part </li></ul>
  40. … happily ever after <ul><li>Blog: Email: Web: </li></ul>