From Tag Clouds to Tag Webs
Evaluation of ClaimSpotter's Semantic Social Tagging Interface
Prof Simon Buckingham Shum

This event took place on 16th May 2007 at 11:15am (10:15 GMT)
Knowledge Media Institute, Berrill Building, The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, MK7 6AA

In this seminar I'll present results from the formative evaluation of ClaimSpotter, an experimental semantic social tagging tool developed in Bertrand Sereno's PhD, and presented at the WWW'07 CKC workshop: When they publish their work, researchers build in established ways on prior work, expressing and contesting claims and counter-arguments. Collaborative tagging holds promise as an approach to mediating this discursive process via the Web, but, although permitting diversity of opinion, 'pure' freeform tagging provides no support to analysts who want to differentiate important kinds of tag, and critically, their inter-relationships. Our experience demonstrates that collaborative, scholarly tagging requires tools designed specifically for this sensemaking task by providing enough support to initiate the annotation, while not overwhelming users with suggestions. We describe a tool called ClaimSpotter that aims at supporting this tradeoff, through a novel combination of system-initiated tag recommendations, Web interface design, and an expanded conception of how tags can be both expressed, and semantically linked. We then report a detailed study which analysed the tool's usability and the tag structures created, contributing to our understanding of the implications of adding structure to collaborative tagging.

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