Publication: Social Navigation for Loosely-Coupled Information Seeking in Tightly-Knit Groups using WebWear

Many web-based information-seeking tasks are set in a social context where other people's knowledge and advice improves success in finding information. However, when tightly-knit contacts (friends, family, colleagues) are not available, information seeking becomes more difficult. Inspired by previous work in social navigation, we developed WebWear, a system that collects and displays traces of activity for tightly-knit groups. WebWear allows people to use contextual knowledge of contacts' interests and activities to interpret the meaning of the traces, improving their usefulness. In a comparative study, we found that WebWear helped people complete information- seeking tasks more accurately, without requiring additional effort. A one-week field trial found that WebWear was both usable and useful, and that privacy concerns were reduced in the small-group context. WebWear shows that small- scale social navigation systems are feasible, and that they can improve the effectiveness of information seeking on the World-Wide Web.

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Participants

Scott Bateman
University of New Brunswick
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Gordon McCalla
University of Saskatchewan

Citation

Bateman, S., Gutwin, C., McCalla, G. 2013. Social Navigation for Loosely-Coupled Information Seeking in Tightly-Knit Groups using WebWear. In ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2013), San Antonio, TX. 955-966. DOI=10.1145/2441776.2441885.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {294-p955-bateman,
author= {Scott Bateman and Carl Gutwin and Gordon McCalla},
title= {Social Navigation for Loosely-Coupled Information Seeking in Tightly-Knit Groups using WebWear},
booktitle= {ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2013)},
year= {2013},
address= {San Antonio, TX},
pages= {955-966}
}