Sociable knowledge sharing online: philosophy, patterns and intervention
Matthews, P. and Stephens, R. (2010) Sociable knowledge sharing online: philosophy, patterns and intervention. Aslib Proceedings, 62 (6). pp. 539-553. ISSN 0001-253X
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00012531011089667
Purpose: This paper outlines a social epistemological and ethical warrant for engaging in knowledge exchange on the social web, and emphasises socio-cognitive and emotional factors behind motivation and credibility in communities supported by social software. An attempt is made to identify positive and negative patterns of interaction from this perspective and to argue for more positive intervention on the part of the information profession. Approach: The paper outlines social epistemological and related theory, cognitive and social drivers of behaviour and then draws together evidence to justify the definition of patterns that will be important to the project. Research Implications: A programme of evaluating online knowledge exchange behaviour using a social epistemological framework is needed. In order to do this, methodological development coupling formal epistemological with interpretive techniques for examining belief formation are also necessary. Practical Implications: Considerations for the design and deployment of knowledge platforms and for engagement with existing communities are outlined. Social Implications: The ideas presented attempt to define an important role for the information profession within a new paradigm of participation and social interaction online. Originality: The connection between social epistemology theory and LIS has been long appreciated, but social epistemology is rarely applied to practice or to online social platforms and communities.
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