September 09, 2005

OSW: Lee Bryant - Self-managed language, meaning and tags

Looking at how tags can help us develop a shared meaning through collaboration.

Bottom-up emergent sense-making, just tag things and look for commonality and themes later, rather than the top-down "let's work out a hierarchy or taxonomy first".

Problem at the moment is that we have open, flat public tag clouds.

In real languages, you generally get an evolution of the words used to describe a new thing/concept/whatever - initially there are a number of ways to describe something, and then eventually it starts to coalesce into the commonly-understood term.

Social software in businesses.

What can it do?

  • Critical mass of weak ties to help people exchange knowledge
  • Stimulate connected conversations encouraging creativity
  • Stimulate social networks
  • Bring existing information to life

They're launching PatientOpinion today. Let's people give their stories of their experience with the NHS and it's services. They try to analyze the stories to suggest to people what hospital, or service, or type of medicine they're story is about. So users don't have to know that their story is about oncology, for example, they can just use terms familiar to them like cancer. Currently being trialled in Yorkshire, with the aim to go national next year.

Update: Lee's notes on the conference and his slides are on the Headshift website.

Posted by Adrian at September 9, 2005 11:38 AM | TrackBack

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