October 11, 2008

Combining social and electronic technologies for large-scale, collaborative meaning making

Large-scale, collaborative meaning making is a vital condition for dealing with crises and turning breakdowns into breakthroughs, locally and globally.

To be effective, the social technologies for facilitating that transformation need to be supported by the best what emergent electronic technologies can offer. For example:

Imagine to couple Personal Brain with a robust taxonomy-builder and a semantic engine,
all rolled up into a rapid-deployment learning environment that can be easily customized
for any knowledge domain or project, by community tech stewards, including non-programmers.

What do you see? What could such system enable?
What new community, organisational, and global capacities could be afforded by it?
Here’s my take on what it should help us with:

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August 20, 2007

CI by collaborative sense-making in participatory video

Talking about the phases of collaborative film making, Kent Bye wrote in Building a Theory of Collaborative Sensemaking | Echo Chamber Project:

The ideal collaborative sensemaking system would allow people to add their own context through each of these phases in a way that is both easy to participate and easy to productively make sense of the user input in a cumulative fashion.

I imagine that there will be a web-based multimedia experience of the film that is able to can get smarter as time goes on and more people are interact with the material by adding their context and meaning to it -- as well as produce remixes and contribute new source material back to the ecosystem.

So while the finished 90-minute documentary becomes a static product that is released and watched by a mass audience, there will also be a multimedia experience of the source material that will grow and evolve over time as users continue to interact and contribute their meaning to the material.

Two Questions Come Up at this Point:

* How am I planning on making sense of this process as it evolves?
* How am I going to coordinate these various phases and harness the chaos of the participation and collective wisdom?

I will certainly be learning a lot as real people start using the system, and I intend on doing some top-down leadership by expressing specific questions to look into, themes of sequences to cut together and trying to process as much of the incoming participation as possible.

It will be a very uncertain and chaotic process, but Wikipedia has shown that the anarchy can be productively harnessed if there is an agreed upon set of collaborative principles, a group of people with common intentions, and through enough open communication.

March 5, 2003

Taxonomies help meaning emerge from conversations

Knowledge and meaning can emerge from the blog conversations more easily than discussion forums becaue we can conveniently add one or more categories to our entries and couple their chronological flow with a flexible taxonomy.

CPs don’t only start defining themselves by defining their domain of practice, they also continually redefining that domain through their daily practice. CPs continually ARE constituting themselves by the practice of shared meaning making.

Collaborative taxonomy building tools are essential to pursue that, in any complex domain. We need to use taxonomy tools for linking the conversation flows with the community’s dynamic knowledge repositories. That has been the Grail of my quest for collective intelligence since 1987, the first Hypertext conference. Now we have it, or almost...

March 4, 2003

In search of tools for collaborative taxonomy building

Luis, a member of our team, wrote in the team blog, “I like to use the blog to capture passing bits and blurbs of information that I know could be handy to all of us, but for which it is hard to find a right category.”

He is certainly not alone to want to use a blog in that way. Even if the right category is hard to find, associating one with every burst of insight would make them easier to retrieve them when they will be needed in another conversation.

So what’s the “right” category, anyway? Why is it hard to find? Maybe it's because: “One thing that I have found (and this is universally applicable) is that my method of organizing topics is different than everybody else's. We all structure the world differently,” says John “K-Log” Robb in an interview published in We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs.

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