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Ambushed by Eugene Eric Kim

So here’s something I’m not quite used to (yet?).

Eugene Eric Kim has written a wonderful post on the Blue Oxen Associates blog about his use of my ideas around Contextual Authority Tagging in his work with organizations regarding reproductive health.

Terrell’s premise is that reputation in context can be extremely valuable, often more valuable than what you say about yourself. For example, suppose you asked me for three words to describe myself. In a work context, I might say, “collaboration, transformation, do-gooder.” That is how I perceive myself, or at least how I want others to perceive me. Those three words have gone through a personal filter, which may be filtering useful information. Maybe I’m too modest to say certain words. Maybe I’m deluded. Or maybe I simply don’t know what others value most about me.

There are three interesting pieces of information here:

* What do others say about you?
* What’s the difference between what others say about you and what you say about yourself?
* If you and everyone else get to see what is said about you, how will what is said evolve over time?

I’m anxious to see what Terrell discovers about these and other questions. If his premise is correct, then there are all sorts of interesting applications of this. For example, many knowledge management tools include some sort of expert finder, which is generally reliant on what people say about themselves in their personal profiles. It may be more valuable to have an expert finder that’s oriented around what others say about you.

He’s included some Wordles of the types of information and interactions that come from having people share stories and talk about one another.

Earlier this year, I facilitated a strategic workshop for Civil Liberties & Public Policy (CLPP), another reproductive health advocacy and leadership organization, and I kicked things off with this exercise. The visualizations from that exercise are particularly instructive. Here is a visualization of all the words that the participants used to describe each other:


This is most rewarding to me – and I look forward to working with Eugene in the next few months on some collaborations. I think we have a lot to offer each other in the ways we see these tools.

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