I use tools like Linked In and del.icio.us as a means of sharing information within the larger community that I participate in. Some of this information is only available to people that I share it with and other information is available to the internet public at large.
The notion of allowing other people to view details of their online activities is out of the question for some. For others it is potentially an extremely useful means of determining someone’s current interests, views or intents. By intents, I mean, you are publishing your research which can be used to infer future activity. Inversely you are able to discover from passive observation, "Context of Value" to yourself as well.
Late last year, I used the then current tag cloud of my book marks, as the basis of writing my prediction blog entry for 2008 and to some extent it is exposing my interests at that time for this year. I have used my del.icio.us bookmark tags, through techniques introduce to me through the O’Reilly’s Programming Collective Intelligence book, to find other people that have similar interests to myself.
Over the last couple of weeks, I noticed some entries in other people’s new Linked In connections and also in their del.icio.us book marks that intrigued me. I asked some direct questions through other tools and low and behold I received affirmative confirmation of the intent that was depicted. They indeed were looking for new jobs.
Now this information can be misused by organisations that are trolling for these types of context patterns within social software data. The above point is a case in hand that could be open to mis use. However, I believe strongly, that within a community, be it closed, like in a larger corporation or within a more open community over the internet, that there is a larger amount of "Context of Value". This "Context of Value" helps people get things done by allowing them to find people or information that can help them achieve a beneficial outcome. Isn’t this what productivity is about?