Contextual Authority Tagging:
Expertise Location via Social Labeling
This study investigates the possibility of a group of people making explicit their tacit knowledge about one another's areas of expertise. Through a design consisting of a modified Delphi Study, group members are asked to label both their own and each others' areas of expertise over the course of five rounds. Statistical analysis and qualitative evaluation of 10 participating organizations suggest they were successful and that, with simple keywords, group members can convey the salient areas of expertise of their colleagues to a degree that is deemed "similar" and of "high quality" by both third parties and those being evaluated. More work needs to be done to make this information directly actionable, but the foundational aspects have been identified.
In a world with a democratization of voices from all around and increasing demands on our time and attention, this study suggests that simple, aggregated third-party expertise evaluations can augment our ongoing struggle for quality information source selection. These evaluations can serve as loose credentials when more expensive or heavyweight reputation cues may not be viable.
Defense (April 2011)
Proposal (May 2010)
Comprehensive Exams (January 2010)
Delphi Method Weaknesses and Effectiveness (Wildemuth)
Impression-Formation Effects (Kalyamaraman)
Persona Convergence and Assumptions (Marchionini)