Organizational memory, knowledge management, expertise management (and collaborative help)
The latest paper is at the bottom of this section.
- The earliest Answer Garden paper (pdf)
from the ACM Conference on Office Information Systems, 1990 (COIS'90). This is an organizational memory application
with some interesting properties.
- A field study of Answer Garden (pdf,
html) (html has no figures) from the ACM
Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW'94). This paper describes Answer Garden and reports usage
data and social observations from a field study of two research sites over three months. This is my thesis, boiled
down to 10 pages.
The canonical reference for Answer Garden is the journal paper that appeared in the ACM Transactions on Information
Systems, July, 1998 (digital
- Meta-issues in organizational memory (abstract, pdf,
html). This papers deals with the social
use of organizational memory. The paper argues that there are some serious contextual issues when trying to store
and recover organizational, group, and community memory. Based on additional field studies.
A later version of this paper appears in Information Technology & People. That version is not available
- The ASSIST, a sibling application to the Answer Garden, described (pdf).
This paper overstates the organizational memory side to this application, but it's a really cool system to support
a scientific community.
A substantially later journal paper (pdf of preprint)
describes the ASSIST system and its support for task-oriented memories that are embedded within important organizational
tasks (i.e., what we call memories in the small). Written with Eric Mandel.
- A field study of the Zephyr Help Instance, in pdf
and html. Zephyr is a chat-like system
at MIT, and its Help Instance is a successful collaborative help application. The paper explores why the system
has continued to be successful over time. Written with Leysia Palen.
- A brief description of The Cafe ConstructorKit (pdf,
html). The Cafe ConstructionKit is a
CSCW toolkit that includes information retrieval and computer-mediated communication components. It has been used
to build the Answer Garden 2 application (below).
- An examination of social activity indicators, user interface components to promote activity in CSCW systems.
The paper includes a longer description of the Cafe ConstructionKit. In
pdf and in html (html is without figures).
Written with Brian Starr.
- The description of Answer Garden 2, the successor system to Answer Garden (pdf,
Written with Dave McDonald.
- A field study of how people find expertise in a medium-sized software company
(pdf) Written with Dave McDonald
Relatively little work has been done in how people use others to answer questions. This study examines how people
search out expertise. The paper describes the identification, selection, and escalation behaviors found, and considers
the resulting design implications.
- Analyses of organizational memory.
Written with Christine Halverson.
In these papers we develop an
analytical framework to examine what
memory in an organization really
is. Based on an ethnographic study of
a telephone hotline group, these
papers present micro-level analyses of
hotline calls, the work activity
surrounding the calls, and the
memories used in the work activity. We
do these analyses from the viewpoint
of distributed cognition theory,
finding it fruitful for an
understanding of an organization's
The CSCW'98 paper presents the data
and discusses the distributed nature
of the memory in more depth; the
HICSS'99 paper frames a theoretical
language for describing and analyzing
organizational memory. The
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
Journal paper supercedes (and
combines) both. The Communications of
the ACM paper is a short version of
- A recommender system for finding people called Expertise Recommender (ER) (pdf).
This is part of Dave McDonald's thesis work.
- A study of technical support in a large aircraft manufacturer. Also a study of boundary objects in use. (pdf) Part of Wayne Lutters' thesis work.
- A study of a particular memory artifact and how it evolved - a "cheat sheet" used by air traffic
controllers (pdf). With Christine Halverson.
- A new system, iDiag, to collect and then distill community brainstorming sessions. (pdf)
- Privacy Critics are small-scale agents that help safeguard users' privacy. They
are meant to augment and warn the user, rather than to automate privacy protocols and interactions. This is a short
paper from CHI'99 (pdf), written with Lorrie Cranor.
- Before finishing the Platform for Privacy Preferences Project protocol (P3P from the World
Wide Web Consortium), we conducted a survey study of what people actually want from a privacy protocol. The protocol
design changed considerably as a result of this study. Of particular note to other privacy technologies is the
finding that most users do not want complete automaticity of any private data exchange. Users want to okay any
transfer of private data. Written with Lorrie Cranor and Joseph Reagle, and presented at the ACM Conference on
Electronic Commerce (EC'99) (pdf).
- This is a general overview article about Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). The paper also positions
privacy as a collective information problem and also shows why privacy is a "wicked" problem (i.e., a
problem that cannot be fully solved or perhaps even stated) for CSCW and Human-Computer Interaction (pdf
- This article situates the Privacy Critics in the general discourse about the possibilities for privacy-enhancing
regulations and technologies in the US. From the ACM CFP'2000 conference (pdf).
- A discussion of privacy in pervasive (or ubiquitous computing) environments - what someof
the problems will be in next-generation computational environments. (pdf)
With Danny Weitzner and Trevor Darrell.
- Largely as a historical note, I was the editor of the original
architectural overview specification for P3P.
Digital libraries and information repositories
- A short paper on the digital library as social space (pdf,
- A consideration of the institutional requirements of maintaining informal information inside a digital library,
in pdf and in
html (html is without pictures). Written with Roy Fielding.
The Web and agents
- An agent that scouts for new information on known locations in a digital library on or the Web in a collaborative
manner in pdf and in
html. Written with Brian Starr.
- A later paper (html, pdf)
about the Do-I-Care agent (DICA). DICA is an agent that does collaborative discovery of interesting material
from Web sites. Written with Brian Starr and Mike Pazzani.
- Privacy critics are small agents that augment a user's capability to control their personal data on the Web,
ensuring their privacy. (pdf) With Lorrie Cranor.
- This paper, which discusses the iDiag system, briefly discusses a set of agents used to handle social maintenance
and social facilitation in virtual communities. (pdf)
Virtual communities, electronic social spaces
- An investigation of whether an audio-only media space, called Thunderwire, could form a suitable social space
for use (html , pdf
). Written with Debby Hindus, Scott Mainwaring, and Brian Starr.
- A description of a game MUD (in
html). The paper describes how entertainment, the need for management, and computing all interact with the
social place. Written with Jack Muramatsu.
- A study of a online community of Disney "enthusiasts". The paper describes how "being local"
in a geographical area and being online can create a synergistic system. (pdf)
With Wayne Lutters.
- And for something completely different, an examination of the use of metaphors in computer science (html,
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