Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spotted: Moving beyond 10 blue links -- the crowd begins adding structure to search results

Distributed sensemaking: improving sensemaking by leveraging the efforts of previous users

Kristie Fisher, Scott Counts, Aniket Kittur

We examine the possibility of distributed sensemaking: improving a user's sensemaking by leveraging previous users' work without those users directly collaborating or even knowing one another. We asked users to engage in sensemaking by organizing and annotating web search results into "knowledge maps," either with or without previous users' maps to work from. We also recorded gaze patterns as users examined others' knowledge maps. Our findings show the conditions under which distributed sensemaking can improve sensemaking quality; that a user's sensemaking process is readily apparent to a subsequent user via a knowledge map; and that the organization of content was more useful to subsequent users than the content itself, especially when those users had differing goals.

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