Designing Information Spaces: The Social Navigation Approach

Part of the series Computer Supported Cooperative Work pp 43-82

Collaborative Filtering: Supporting Social Navigation in Large, Crowded Infospaces

  • Joseph A. Konstan
  • , John Riedl

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The advent of the web has made possible the publication of vast amounts of new information. Information spaces have become more and more crowded with information. Web users are faced with the daunting task of sorting out from among all of the available information that which is most valuable to them. Social navigation systems have emerged as a broad array of techniques that enable people to work together to help each other find their way through the crowded spaces. In a social navigation system, each user who visits a web site does a small amount of work to untangle which of the paths from that web site are most valuable. Early users leave information signposts that help later users make sense of the wealth of alternatives available to them. Later users benefit from the signposts, because they are able to direct their attention to the parts of the site that are most valuable to them.