From a web 1.0 to a web 2.0 collaboration logic, the 1% rule

Posted on August 6, 2007. Filed under: English, rules, Tagcloud |

Information sharing in web1.0 was one way publishing, static, and subject to a quick de facto obsolessence by the sheer amount of information created that would render this one impossible to reach.

By contrast information sharing in web 2.0 recognizes that information is most of the time an expression of a knowledge, which is embodied in an individual.

Finding the exact information you need (the answer to a simple question) on an intranet for example, is often a vain quest for many reasons :

  • people don't add critical metadata to uploaded documents,
  • the search engines do not access all databases and are not good enough to cope with natural language or unstructured data,
  • and more important, you don't have on an intranet enough information because the number of contributors simply can not be large enough vs the number of readers, …

What you then need is some kind of virtual breadcrumbs which will lead you to the individual most likely to hold the best answer … for a quick phone call or email ! Such tools such as Visible Path do a good job to automatically monitor many informations exchanges (email) or other pieces of information. What you need is a system that seamlessly collects that collective intelligence and gives you an effective way to pull the answers you need from it (think visualization :-)), and I am confident a workable B2E solution can be developed out of the tagclouds, probably something linking it with visualization tools like VisualThesaurus for a drill-down in the information, but keeping a sense of weight/importance given by the size of the words.

VisualThesaurus "tagcloud" like interface 

Then of course you can add a voluntary system where real contributions can be added on top of it, from simply tagging (see Cogenz for example) to actually post "hard" information. About motivations for those 1% of contributors, see my previous January blog post for more details on how one organization should develop tools for employees to develop their reputation inside the company. For more on the 1% rule (1:9:90 in fact ;-)), see the blog post on participation inequality from Jakob Nielsen or the recent HitWise stats shown at the April 2007 Web2.0 Expo. 

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