III. Collective maps and helping the search & discovery of information

Harnessed collective intelligence creates collective value, built in the form of subject/concept mind maps. These will be generated as a byproduct of the aggregated filtering, annotation and organization of information by users through the maps they made, from which other users shall benefit from—a setup similar to Kaboodle, where users typically search for a given item on Google, save the information on Kaboodle, check if other users actually have performed a similar research to benefit from it, to eventually zero in on the best choice.

Concept/subject maps could be the evolution of an About.com or Wikipedia site with a web 2.0 and mind mapping twist.

Wish #3: Implement backend processes that can:

  1. Combine the same if not similar maps to form a collective map that grows in real time as users simultaneously add notes and branches
    measure similarity of maps the del.icio.us way – from collaborative filtering and/or building a thesaurus database common to everyone so that similar and related terms may be specified or tagged together.
  2. Recommendations. Generate recommended links supported by and aggregated from the bookmarks of the larger social group through measures of popularity and relationship strength in the form of (among others) commonalities between the same
  3. Presentation/Navigation. Collapse only parts of maps most relevant to search terms, collective data allows for specificity in search
  4. Presentation/Navigation. Mouseovers or clicks to final links/leaves will display page as preview DHTML – web2.0 firefox plugin
  5. Presentation. Option to display user notes and annotations according to most popular (voted/rated, viewed, recommended) users or in groups
  6. Tracking relevance of suggested results:
    1. measure amount of time spent per search result by measuring the time between search result links recent and a preceding result; most relevant results could be the longest time among clicked items in comparison to others clicked as well. This approach, however, may not be relevant to users that click on assessed relevant results in separate tabs first before studying all of them and returning to the search results page again to open more links.
    2. adding personal comments to annotations and notes of others, similar to Amazon’s ‘was this helpful to you’ section
  7. Syndication. Support public or social network (1st, 2nd degree, artificial) data standards such as FOAF (see also Q & A support) to filter common concept maps

II. Organization, Personalization, Modification and Output stage

Filtering becomes aggregation and more personal value is built as the users’ collection of related information is fed.

On to the human brain side, our brain processes information in distinct ways: the right or the left-brained way – via organization by context or through efficient classification among others. This distinction supports the reason why both tagging and searching works.

Tagging supports orienteering (.pdf) (organizing by context and generalities), which is a more right brained approach, while searching supports systematic classification and specific search terms to use is a more left-brained approach.

A mind mapping approach to organize information, accommodates both right and left brain approaches, links them, as well as supports and sustains the strengths of each.

With the objective of personal aggregation, a mind mapping approach will be an effective tool since it supports natural mental processes for cognition.

Wish #2:
A client application such as Google Desktop (or a browser plug-in) founded on the mind mapping approach to aid users in organizing information. Besides its existing features,

  • allow users to drag/drop highlighted word/s as branch or leaf to either outline form of classified folders or to a visual mind map using (DHTML?) that will hover over a page and enlarge on one click or expand automatically when information is about to be dragged to a section and filed to it.
  • making a right click and following outline form of existing map structures to file and organize or in selecting desired command/function (e.g. file here, set as new leaf/branch/cloud)
  • auto create map with main cloud blank and to be furnished, using tagged words as categories/branches and succeeding underlined words/phrases in proximity of main tag as leaf
  • search from within bookmarked pages or annotations
  • encourage common branches/tags as others
  • set privacy of maps, trees, branches to private, public, groups or selected people
  • integrate facility for Q&A (Yahoo/Google Answers or Favorville)
    • ask questions: display possibly via a box to ask questions to the community and which are linked to the concept map
    • answer questions: answer questions related randomly displayed at the desktop software from a currently viewed mindmap

related examples: Google Desktop, Mayomi, Cnet News.com, Freemind

I. Annotation and Bookmarking tool

It is at this stage that users will, through their annotations as starting point, automatically contribute or create collective value by becoming filterers and provide ease in information discovery for others.

Butterfly, Clipmarks, Diigo, and Mystickies among others, already understand that the internet is about reading and writing hypertext more than just browsing. While Butterfly and Diigo displays annotations as overlays over a page, Clipmarks’s approach is to allow users to clip and add notes eventually presented much like blog entries.

Suggest the following features that current tools may not already have:


  • a. underline, highlight or encircle text using different colors.
  • b. create/define categories and sub categories or attributes and sub-attributes from identified text or create entirely new ones to file bookmarks and notes to
  • c. set sticky notes to visually stay on top, be seen or hidden (to expand only on mouse over)
  • d. draw lines to connect annotations and insert notes
  • e. insert a marker containing link to another other item e.g. media, link, action/command –such as (create new) as tag,


  • f. option to display/ hide all annotations (overlay)
  • g. OR display bookmarked pages with annotations in blog form, -screenshot (page as image – visual bookmarking blogmarks or hotlinks) left hand, -notes – snippets of highlighted text and inserted personal notes on the right


  • -interface a Toolbar plug-in if not a DHTML menu that expands out on mouse over could be useful.

Would think that a hybrid solution of annotation and clipping are the best approaches for filtering instead of the use of an intermediary page to enter notable data.

The former approach more easily facilitates the flow of thoughts, the ladder of inference (figure 2), or the cycle of data transformation (figure 1) in two ways.

  • 1) Identifying text that automatically resonates with the reader and supporting the natural flow of thought instead of the interruption of waiting for a new page to enter tags on and requiring more energy to remember what tags to create.
  • 2) More often than not, tags intended to be used are already among the clipped or highlighted text.

While the approaches do solve problems in the acceptance and filtering stage, it does not fully take advantage the capabilities of hypertext until it is reused or used at all through the entire data/information transformation cycle. The rest of the solution suggestion will explore this.

There has been much hullabaloo around web 2.0 and the growth of applications have been apparent in the form of new ones or mash-ups that fulfill user needs (initial WSJ list here, more comprehensive list from Ventureblog here).

Through the many approaches and applications and with some being exactly the same as the rest, here's to unsolicited feedback–a suggested vision and initial specification blueprint that integrates web 2.0 solutions.

The solution focuses on a way to harness collective intelligence for the improvement of search and providing ease in the discovery of information, all while encouraging the maximum utilization of resources from the user to the service provider.

The approach will be based on 2 processes at work in the use of the web as an information source and collaborative tool:

Data/Information Transformation Cycle
Data is information when it becomes useful to a user.

Discovery and creation stage
Data generated or information is discovered

Acceptance and filtering
Data becomes useful to the user. Information that supports one’s own mental maps or biases is organized. Information collected here helps form the basis of conclusions and assumptions that lead to beliefs and actions (see also ladder of inference).

Modification and output/publishing
Information is modified, bringing into it pieces of other information absorbed or integrated consciously or unconsciously and shared.


Figure 1 – Data/Information Transformation Cycle

The solution will be sustained by utility levers through the data/information transformation cycle as well as supported by the Ladder of Inference, an interpretation of the way in which we make sense of data, information and experiences.

The Ladder of Inference
Devised by Chris Argyris and presented in Peter Senge's "The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization," the diagram below illustrates how most individuals will have been accustomed to the formation of inferences or often misguided beliefs from the tacit and selective acceptance of data in lieu of our mental models.

Ladder of Inference

Figure 2a – Ladder of Inference (http://www.actiondesign.com/)

Ladder of Inference

Figure 2b – Ladder of Inference (http://www.systems-thinking.org)

Using both models or diagrams, the following tools comprise that possible solution:

An annotation tool at the discovery and creation stage, a client desktop tool at the acceptance & filtering stage, and finally, backend functions and processes at the modification, personalization and output stage that support the integrative vision and allow it to really manifest.


Dion Hinchecliffe recently recalled ”how harnessing collective intelligence and real-time leveraging of the two-way Web tremendously improved people's lives in a bad situation.” [That] It's making everyone sit back and think of the possibilities.”

What follows are my thoughts of one such possibility. My web 2.0 wishes. The article is divided into the following:

Web 2.0 Wishes (Part 1: Intro),

Web 2.0 Wishes (Part 2: Annotation & Bookmarking),

Web 2.0 Wishes (Part 3: Organization, Personalization, Modification and Output),

Web 2.0 Wishes (Part 4: Collective maps and helping the search & discovery of information)

Web 2.0 Wishes Epilogue

After considerable time incubating in my head, I had finally finished this little compilation of thoughts. While I still prefer personal discussion over text, I hope this helps trigger more ideas and questions to explore even more possibilities.

More from: Russell Beattie, Engadget, MocoNews, PSFK and MobileCrunch.

I remember a quote saying that naming things give you power over them.

This might just be what has really happened with the official launch of SMS text payments.

So what happens when you can assign names (Text to Buy codes) to anything, to purchase?

There's the real opportunity.

With PayPal's plans finally coming through, I look forward to how they can further revolutionize mobile payments in comparison to how TextPayMe or our other Asian neighbors are doing it.

I had been nurturing an interest in the market and some more questions I sought answers for are as follows:

  • Where can SMS text payment really flourish in comparison to other payment methods?
  • What could be the best way to implement,
    a) without incurring expensive infrastructure or hardware costs?
    b) and at the same time helping ensure and fast-track adoption with merchants?
  • What bred success for Korea and Japan for mobile payments? How can we learn from them?
  • The Philippines has begun text payments but hasn't really taken off, what gives?
  • What are the security dangers with text payment method or the swipe method?

After research, analysis and more research, all I have are my ideas (maybe more on this later) in a mindmap, plans and attempted efforts to join in on the fun. This is inspiring, though, and I still hope to actualize my attempts somehow. :">

Opera launched its free Opera Mini (website, campaign home) browser yesterday. They have been aggressively focusing on the mobile market and is growing rapidly from a trial base of over a million users. Here are some fast facts:

-The browser: 50-100KB in size, supports J2ME (Java 2 micro edition) MIDP (mobile information device profile) 1.0 and 2.0 (The normal Opera Mobile browser, in contrast, has a footprint of 1-2MB).

Tech: Compressing Web pages by up to 80%. Opera Mini browser works through proxy servers that are currently hosted by Opera. The proxies translate Web pages into OBML (Opera Binary Markup Language) before sending them to the phone. OBML includes compressed images, and eliminates the need for the Opera Mini client to do error handling — since HTML is not a parsed variant of SGML, much of a normal browser’s workload involves handling non-well-formed HTML. The scheme compresses Web pages by up to 80 percent, according to Opera, resulting in both faster browsing and “dramatically reduced” data transfer charges.

Sample small screen rendering (SSR):

(left image – other browsers’ page rendering, right image – Opera’s SSR)

Support for AJAX, XML, Linux and embedded devices: Opera Executive VP Scott Hedrick: “We are already engaged in projects with many leading global brands to deliver Opera in new IPTV set-top box deployments, networked TVs, VoIP screen phones, and other entertainment devices.”

Opera says customers currently shipping devices with Opera browsers include NDS, Amino, Archos, Nokia, Thales, and Canal Satellite. Those shipping Opera-equipped mobile phones include Motorola, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Sharp.

-Competition: Meantime, Access, (acquired device OS and middleware vendor PalmSoft late last year) collaborates with partners towards 3G handset development and multimedia platforms for embedded devices while open source Mini-Mozilla or MiniMo, which received funding from Nokia, released MinoMo CE .012 last March 2005.

Have yet to try and surf the net through the browser. Opera’s technology means great news for users and internet companies in terms of cheaper data transfer rates and wider information access. With such better browsers in place, it looks like the transition from WAP to web browser may really happen in the next few years. More internet companies can make their way into the mobile market now, especially with the lesser effort needed for major reformatting of their websites to fit the mobile due to Opera’s SSR technology.

Discussion at Slashdot here.

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