Taking Coagmento out-of-box

It’s been a while. In fact, it’s been quite a while as I waited for a right time to get Coagmento out of its box. For the past year and a half, I have been through many versions of Coagmento, a collaborative information seeking system. I have run many sessions of cognitive walkthroughs, where I sat down with individuals, explained them how Coagmento worked, and got their reactions. I did several design sessions (individual and group), and pilot runs. Finally, I did a large user study in the lab.

And now, it’s almost here. Almost, because the first and the second beta versions of Coagmento have been tested by a select group of people, and not really open for just anyone to try. Not yet, but we are almost there. Hopefully, within the next few days, a new version of Coagmento will roll out that will be ready for a wide-scale deployment.

The journey of Coagmento from its inception to this stage has been very interesting, and worth writing about at some point. The journey, though, continues with more updates coming real soon!

Toward Collaborative Information Seeking (CIS)

Recently I wrote an article that deals with the notion of collaboration and proposes a model to facilitate collaboration in an information seeking process. This article has been accepted to be presented at Collaborative Exploratory Search workshop at JCDL 2008 conference and can be downloaded from here.

Abstract: It is natural for humans to collaborate while dealing with complex problems. In this article I consider this process of collaboration in the context of information seeking. The study and discussion presented here are driven by two dissatisfactions: (1) the majority of IR systems today do not facilitate collaboration directly, and (2) the concept of collaboration itself is not well-understood. I begin by probing the notion of collaboration and propose a model that helps us understand the requirements for a successful collaboration. A model of a Collaborative Information Seeking (CIS) environment is then rendered based on an extended model of information seeking.