Monday, April 2, 2007

Tag Clouds coming out of my ears...


So Pathways has another tag cloud, big deal. I have tag clouds all over the place, its a nice metaphor. I might be able to find an enterprise document quicker with an enterprise tag cloud, but it isn't that exciting... until, maybe, you constrain it.

The tag clouds you use on the web tend to be public. That makes sense since most of the web is public. But not the web in your enterprise.

Pathways takes a novel approach to the tag cloud in adding the concepts of context, security, and views. Context means that as you click on tags they are additive, and your tag cloud shifts as you drill deeper. Security means you can only see tags on documents you have access too. Both of these are cool (and make the engine driving the tag cloud pretty complicated), but I want to spend a moment on Views. Views are really cool.

A View allows you to see the tag cloud as applied by a certain group of users. In other words, it gives you a perspective from a group of people. This can be very powerful, since it can show me how Developers view material I'm interested in as opposed to Sales people (yes, different types of people...)

Let me take a case in point. I was just looking for some CSS styleguide stuff internally. It just so happens that my company has a ton of documentation on a Core Security Service, handily abbreviated CSS. So all this irrelevant (to me) stuff came back. I switched my view to the UI teams, and I quickly found the documents I wanted. (And then I found the people I wanted, through the Experts functionality... how circular!)

Your organization is filled with intelligence, we just haven't had the tools to expose it in simple ways. The first release will just be the beginning, but I'm looking forward to answering questions like... which product managers are most influential with sales? Which salespeople understand the products the best? Let them work and have your systems figure it out...

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