Thursday, October 19, 2006

Citizen Collaborative Work

Recently, I have been reading some articles on policies and mechanisms for collaborative work on virtual environments like the Web and I have found some interesting works on reputation schemes to ameliorate the quality of collaboration on collaborative content production.

A while ago I came across an article by Tom Cross on First Monday (Puppy smoothies: Improving the reliability of open, collaborative wikis) which proposes a simple mechanism to allow users to identify parts of a Wiki article that it is not "mature" yet. The rationale behind the approach proposed by Cross is that texts that survive a sufficiently long period of iterative and collaborative editing process may be considered mature and accurate. Conversely, texts recently added may contain inaccuracies. So, readers should be aware of which part is still not mature.

Today I have found a site which promotes the collaborative content production, Bikely. The idea is to allow users to share their bike routes, to add comments and share information about these routes. Basically, a use case for a combination of Wiki and Google Maps. :-)

In that context, I was wondering about a mechanism which could improve the quality of information about routes and comments on routes. In my first thought, the assumption used by Cross may not apply here, since routes could be out of date over time in contrast to text that gets mature. It has also the case where routes and comments are misleading. Anyway, I believe this is a good motivation to think about a reputation scheme with a nice application.

By the way, check out my routes:

- Flamingo - UFCG (Campina Grande, PB, Brazil).
- Chesnut Park - UC Davis (Davis, CA, US)