Re: [unrev-II] Semantic Community Web Portal (Formality Harmful)

From: Alex Shapiro (
Date: Mon Sep 17 2001 - 10:39:44 PDT

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    At 12:36 AM 9/17/01 -0700, Eugene Eric Kim wrote:
    >Eric did a nice job of summarizing my experiments with dialog maps. There
    >are a bunch of threads on this list to which I would like to respond, but
    >I'll start here and work backwards.
    >A few words on the methodology I've been experimenting with. It's very
    >1. People discuss things in an unstructured fashion -- e-mail, newsgroups,
    > web forums, whatever.
    >2. One or more moderators build a dialog map of the discussion, with
    > granular links to the original discourse.
    >3. Partipants frequently check the dialog map, and have the option of
    > commenting on it in their unstructured forums or even in the dialog map
    > itself.

    Cool. That's pretty much what I have in mind too. It seems to me that the
    challenge of this setup is how to get the participants in the unstructured
    discussion to seek feedback from the graphic dialog map. This would
    simplify the task of the map-builders.

    > My methodology allows you to edit the dialog map directly when it's
    > easy, and use the unstructured mediums when it's not. Either way, the
    > content is recorded in the dialog map, thanks to the diligence of the
    > facilitators. This is really an extension of Jeff Conklin's methodology
    > of IBIS as a facilitation technique, applied towards asynchronous
    > collaboration.

    Right. I am leaning towards making direct editing of the dialog map as
    easy as possible, even at the expense of abandoning some of the ibis
    structure. An ibis structure could always be retroactively imposed by the
    facilitators. Besides the two options of complying to an ibis format, or
    posting in an unstructured forum, participants should have a third option
    of editing the dialog map without complying to an ibis format. It seems to
    me that enabling the participants to take this first step towards a
    properly structured discussion would make the facilitators job easier.

    >* For this methodology to work effectively, it requires frequent
    > validation by the participants. For this to happen, we need better
    > tools.


    >Based on my experiences with IBIS, the existing tools, and my methodology
    >experiments, I've started to put together a design for a collaboration
    >tool to support this structured/unstructured form of dialog. My first
    >step will be to build a set of Java classes that implements an underlying
    >IBIS data model. I plan on using these classes to build my own dialog
    >mapping tool, but I hope that others will find it useful as well. For
    >instance, I have some thoughts on how to integrate Alex's TouchGraph with
    >these classes, but he will probably have a clearer idea on how this could
    >be done, and he'd be free to use my library to demonstrate this. The more
    >people who play with the classes, the better the APIs will become.


    I would definitely be interested in the design of the IBIS classes that you
    plan to build, and also in how they could be integrated with
    TouchGraph. Keep me in the loop. Also, I am of the same opinion about the
    TG classes. It's all about improvement through feedback.

    >I also plan on designing these classes in such a way that tools such as
    >NODAL or Eliot Kimber's version-control grove engine could easily be
    >plugged in. Finally, I plan on constructing a link database that could
    >become a candidate link database for the OHS.
    >I'll post more on my efforts as time permits.

    Cool, --Alex

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