CS547 Human-Computer Interaction Seminar  (Seminar on People, Computers, and Design)

Fridays 12:50-2:05 · Gates B01 · Open to the public
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Jonathan Grudin · Microsoft Research
(Rapidly) Emerging Technologies and Knowledge Management
April 21, 2006

Lightweight new technologies are emerging rapidly. Some are rapidly adopted by millions of students, at least for a time. As these students enter the workforce, they'll bring different skills and arrive with identities formed through use of such technologies. I’m examining how some of these technologies are starting to be used, and will describe some possible ways they could overcome past obstacles to managing asynchronous information and knowledge. After identifying impediments, I'll demonstrate how features of unstructured tagging, weblogs, and search can address them.

These changes are likely to come faster than people expect. The presentation will start by briefly considering the more general issue of why rapid shifts in technology use have taken people (including me) by surprise, and often not been understood until much later. Psychological literature suggests that our focus on conceptual development and the use of misleading visualizations are factors contributing to our poor reasoning about nonlinear growth. I'll briefly present visualizations that might address these problems and affect how we look at the relationship between technology and behavior.

This talk draws a little from two years of longitudinal surveys of behaviors and attitudes toward weblogs at Microsoft and an in-depth qualitative study of employee weblogs and attitudes toward them, as well as some first-hand existence proofs of utility, but will largely be a logical exposition.



Jonathan Grudin is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research. He was previously Professor of Information and Computer Science at University of California, Irvine, and taught at Aarhus, Keio, and Oslo Universities. He worked as a software developer before obtaining a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at UC San Diego with Donald Norman. For the past ten years, his primary research topics have been the adoption and use of technology in organizations, the design and use of multimedia systems, and the history and development of the field of human-computer interaction. For six years he was Editor in Chief of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction; he is now Associate Editor for Human-Computer Interaction of ACM Computing Surveys and writes the Timelines column for ACM Interactions. He co-wrote and edited the widely used Readings in Human-Computer Interaction: Toward the New Millennium, and contributed a chapter “Why Personas Work” to the upcoming book The Persona Lifecycle written by John Pruitt and Tamara Adlin.