Using Tag Clouds to Promote Community Awareness in Research Environments

Using Tag Clouds to Promote Community Awareness in Research Environments Authors: Alexandre Spindler, Stefania Leone, Matthias Geel, Moira C. Norrie Keywords: Tag Clouds – Ambient Information – Community Awareness

Abstract:

Tag clouds have become a popular visualisation scheme for presenting an overview of the content of document collections. We describe how we have adapted tag clouds to provide visual summaries of researchers’ activities and use these to promote awareness within a research group. Each user is associated with a tag cloud that is generated automatically based on the documents that they read and write and is integrated into an ambient information system that we have implemented.

One of the selling points of topic maps has been the serendipitous discovery of new information. Discovery is predicated on awareness and this is an interesting approach to that problem.

Questions:

  1. To what extent does awareness of tagging by colleagues influence future tagging?
  2. How would you design a project to measure the influence of tagging?
  3. Would the influence of tagging change your design of an information interface? Why/Why not? If so, how?

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