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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] Keyword Indexing to Improve Email and IT

John,    (01)

> Getting people to add keywords is a huge stretch.    (02)

That depends on one's command of interface and knowledge
of user psychology as much as it does the nature of the users.    (03)

> The whole notion and the
recent ba-ohs-talk traffic on how to manage these simple texts is rather
underwhelming...    (04)

I confess to being underwhelmed at times myself -- but that take
would apply to *any* specialist (KM, code, whatever) who
undertakes the design of human-machine interaction without
bothering to study psychology, neurology, and info science.
Lotta wheels being reinvented out there.    (05)

> Do you know that this opportunity has been mastered already?    (06)

> Please have a look at KnowledgeMail® by Tacit Knowledge Systems.
http://www.tacit.com/    (07)

[snip]    (08)

> David gave a brief demo. Even the most seasoned, demo-jaded KM & content
experts in the capacity KM Cluster crowd was utterly speechless at the
profound capabilities of KnowledgeMail®. There where palpable gasps in the
audience. In short, it knocked our socks off.    (09)

Well, I just read it, but my socks seem to be on. Shoes too.    (010)

[snip]    (011)

> Sure, KnowledgeMail® is a commercial product and 'not cheap.' However, it
makes sense to acknowledge this achievement, even while ba-ohs-talk pursuit
seems to be open source and other non-commercial or research offerings.    (012)

I'll happily acknowledge it as an interesting prototype, and hope they
keep their minds away from the notion that they have mastered KM,
so that they retain the motivation to keep working on it. Not being
on Tacit's payroll, I'm uninclined to spend too much time pointing
out areas of potential improvement, but one example would be the
tactic of measuring a contributor's level of expertise in a subject by
how many times they use that term in email.    (013)

Not only does it raise the question of what constitutes expertise
(Carl Sandburg, "An expert is a man who can spit over a boxcar.")
-- but "frequency of use" analyses are highly subject to being
skewed by the contributors' verbosity, writing style, enthusiasm
for the subject, native language, and self-promotional tendencies.
The algorithm that could account for those factors is
approximately three miles long.    (014)

Or even their job, for that matter; an MCSE is going to write
"NT" more often than the Unix sys ad down the hall, even if
the Unix guy is the one who knows how to fix a corrupted
NT MBR.    (015)

Who knows, maybe they've worked around those problems.
Always hard to say with proprietary products, until you take
them for a test drive. The acid test would be searching a Tacit-
generated knowledgebase for the expert of experts, picking
up the phone, and seeing whether you have a genius or a bozo
on the other end of the line.    (016)

Nicholas    (017)

Nicholas Carroll
Travel: ncarroll1000@yahoo.com
"The hardest single part of building a software system
is deciding precisely what to build." -- Frederick Brooks    (018)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ba-ohs-talk@bootstrap.org
[mailto:owner-ba-ohs-talk@bootstrap.org]On Behalf Of N. Carroll
Sent: Saturday, April 20, 2002 4:09 PM
To: ba-ohs-talk@bootstrap.org
Subject: Re: [ba-ohs-talk] Keyword Indexing to Improve Email and IT    (019)

Keywords are worth trying (if you can get users to add them).
*Subject* keywords *alone* do have a stumbling block, a type
of Zipfian distribution known as Bradford's Law which states that
from either the classification or the searching end, a relatively
small number of terms tend to be used repeatedly, and a huge
percentage quite rarely (like a rather flat bell curve with a big bump
in the middle).    (020)