Department of Information and Communication Engineering Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
In this paper, we propose a new approach employing a talking virtualized egos (TVE) metaphor as a means for facilitating community knowledge evolution. The TVE metaphor brings about a new asynchronous communication channel for a community that has a casual and conversational flavor. It enables people to see conversations among virtualized egos to gain awareness of knowledge and interests possessed by a community. It gives people an idea of who knows what and who is interested in what, facilitating interaction of people. It motivates people to interrupt the virtual conversation to add their knowledge or interest in a synchronous fashion, or to participate in future conversation about the similar subject by posting and extending their own virtualized egos. This will in turn facilitate the amount of information explicitly shared in the community, leading to knowledge evolution in a community.
We emphasize the importance of indexical and ontological role of externalized knowledge and interest as a means of helping people gain a rough conceptualization of unfamiliar subject or locate an adequate information source, either documents or people. For that purpose, we use concise information representation, called associative representation, to permit community members to communicate their ideas and interests efficiently by maximally taking advantage of shared background knowledge. It should be noted that the use of concise representation greatly benefits from the TVE metaphor to compensate for its weakness, for the TVE metaphor is effective in communicating pragmatically important information such as the trustability and context.