Collaborative Argumentation Study
In this project, Intel Information Technology and MIT studied web-based social media as a tool for understanding collective intelligence and distributed decision-making. The useful question we posed was "What are good ways to balance the potential productivity advantages of open collaborative computing versus the data security needs of the organization?"
Over the three week period we generated 73 author accounts, with 51 from outside Intel. The users contributed 64 certified posts, with 40 from outside Intel. Twenty five ratings were collected. Our resulting deliberation map was well structured and remarkably complete.
What did we learn?
First and foremost, we validated that there is good potential in the combination of social media and argumentation. Social media gives us ability to host large scale discussions with a vast number of diverse users over the internet. It enables us to readily combine discussions that are internal and external to Intel, if desired.
One of the biggest benefits of Deliberatorium was the ease of generating the argument map. The "moderate-as-you-go" approach saved a great deal of time during the post-processing of the data collected. This was especially important as the number of users and topics scaled. The compact format was useful to reduce complexity and helped "make sense" of threaded discussions (conversations) characterized by other tools. It also provided an artifact that can be used for later data mining or as a historical record of the project.
Based on this effort, we have decided that the argumentation capability is an important overlay for social computing tools. In the future we want to find and link all related content regardless of the source: web, wiki, etc. The key is flexible input with robust analytics and reporting to get better output.
Thank you for participating
Thanks to everyone who participated in our study, especially our top contributors: Luca, Ultimo15, Adam, and Lfriedl. Inside Intel, thanks to our most active contributors: Chris Wisehart, Guillermo Rueda, and Matt Rosenquist.
For more information
Klein, Mark and Iandoli, Luca,Supporting Collaborative Deliberation Using a Large-Scale Argumentation System: The Mit Collaboratorium(February 20, 2008). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4691-08. Available at SSRN:
Visit the MIT Deliberatorium Tool