Supporting Social Navigation on the World Wide Web
This paper discusses a navigation behavior on Internet information services, in particular the World Wide Web, which is characterized by pointing out of information using various communication tools. We call this behavior social navigation as it is based on communication and interaction with other users, be that through email, or any other means of communication. Social navigation phenomena are quite common although most current tools (like Web browsers or email clients) offer very little support for it. We describe why social navigation is useful and how it can be better supported in future systems. We further describe two prototype systems that, although originally not designed explicitly as tools for social navigation, provide features that are typical for social navigation systems. One of these systems, the Juggler system, is a combination of a textual virtual environment and a Web client. The other system is a prototype of a Web-hotlist organizer, called Vortex. We use both systems to describe fundamental principles of social navigation systems.