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Independent Study Project

Mechanisms to increase social creativity and build stronger output filters

Kyu Han Koh
Jan 21, 2008


Thanks to Web 2.0 and socio-technical environments, we need to shift the paradigm in current conceptual framework for interactive systems from professionally dominated cultures to democratized design cultures. In democratic design cultures, we have less passive users and more active users than professionally dominated cultures. These active users act as prosumers [Tapscott & Williams, 2006] who work as producer and consumer at the same time. To create these prosumers, the system needs to be end-user modifiable design environments [Eisenberg & Fischer, 1994] and evolvable knowledge management environments [dePaula & Fischer, 2005].
I would like to address better approach and mechanism which can increase social creativity and produce more active consumers through this independent study. It would include interface design for interactive open systems and output filter mechanisms.


Thanks to the development of internet, we started to learn new technologies, news, and new information from open knowledge systems. It is easier and faster than the traditional way we used to use (i.e. books, paper based encyclopedia). However, sometimes it is hard to say it is better than the old ways.
One of what I concern about the open knowledge system is whether given information is reliable or not. Thanks to mass collaboration, information on Wikipedia is said to be trustable. However, who could say how much we trust information on Google answers? We know that there is lots of valuable information on the web, but also there is useless and unreliable information. That is a reason why we have to build trustable and steady output filter to appreciate given information for open knowledge system.
I would like to introduce a Korean portal service website,, which provides open knowledge system service. It seems to be a combination of Wikipedia and Google answers, but it has several special features unlike those two open knowledge systems. It supports open on-line encyclopedia which is operated like Wikipedia and knowledge market which is run like Google answers. The difference is that it has tagging, rating and ranking system. Tagging and rating are quite common techniques, but ranking system is somewhat unique. This ranking system is applied to users who answer the given questions on knowledge market or write information on open encyclopedia. As this ranking system, users are classified to different levels from level 1 to level 14. A user who has better acceptance answer rate and average answer rate is promoted to higher level. Also, users can check which rank they are placed of entire users. It encourages users to participate in this open knowledge system effectively. Of course, they are also paid when their answer is selected at knowledge market as users did at Google answers.
This technique might be applied to 3Dware house or other open systems as an effective output filter. For example, 3Dware house uses tagging and rating. We can judge the 3D object uploaded on the web with rating whether it is built realistically or not. Also, tagging helps users find target objects easily. Here, what we can notice is that a social contributor who uploads 3D object to 3Dware house does not upload only one object but multiple objects (i.e. several buildings in Denver or several models of house). We can rate not only his or her 3D object but also him or her as a 3D building designer. It could increase the degree of trust of the social contributor. It means that if the social contributor, he or she is highly rated, his or her creature would be trustworthy. Also, we can label them with ranking system. With raking system, they would be labeled from intern to head architect. I believe that it could encourage users to participate in 3D ware house more voluntarily.

Research Questions

To support and build this kind of system, I believe that we have to answer following questions before we step further.
 How to motivate people to participate in given open system as a prosumer?
 How to build flexible, evolvable, and modifiable system effectively?
 How to build strong output filters?
 How much we can trust the output from these output filters?

Research Plan

 Study current mechanisms using on the web such as tagging and rating
 Evaluate those mechanisms and develop and modify them for better approach
 Gather information and techniques being used to increase social creativities [Fischer, G, 2007]

Expected Results
 Build new mechanism to increase social creativity or modify current mechanism to encourage social creativity actively
 Upgrade current output filter mechanism to increase the trustworthy of output filter

Relevant References

Eisenberg, M., & Fischer, G. (1994) "Programmable Design Environments: Integrating End-User Programming with Domain-Oriented Assistance." In Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI'94 (Boston, MA), ACM, New York, pp. 431-437.

  • As building open system, most of cases it would be evolved with end-users. So the system should be user modifiable, and user should be empowered to do that. This paper addresses the notions for that.

Tapscott, D., & Williams, A. D. (2006) Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Portofolio, Penguin Group, New York, NY.

  • I could get some basic notions from this paper about mass collaboration, and learning about mass collaboration would be helpful to create open system.
Fischer, G. (2007): "Designing Socio-Technical Environments in Support of Meta-Design and Social Creativity", Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL '2007), Rutgers University, July

  • This paper addresses mostly about CSCL and which way CSCL should be heading. I found I could take some notions for meta design and social creativity from this paper.

I am looking for more reference papers which could help me to build better mechanisms and techniques for creating strong output filters.

Initial Plan beginning of semester

Last modified 4 February 2008 at 6:49 pm by itmonk