Facebook Has Channeled Tacit Software, Just without the Software

July 14, 2021

I would wager a free copy of my book CyberOSINT that anyone reading this blog post remembers Tacit Software, founded in the late 1990s. The company wrote a script which determined what employee in an organization was “consulted” most frequently. I recall enhancements which “indexed” content to make it easier for a user to identify content which may have been overlooked. But the killer feature was allowing a person with appropriate access to identify individuals with particular expertise. Oracle, the number one in databases, purchased Tacit Software and integrated the function into Oracle Beehive. If you want to read marketing collateral about Beehive, navigate to this link. Oh, good luck with pinpointing the information about Tacit. If you dig a bit, you will come across information which suggests that the IBM Clever method was stumbled upon and implemented about the same time that Backrub went online. Small community in Silicon Valley? Yes, it is.

So what?

I thought about this 1997 innovation in Silicon Valley when I read “Facebook’s Groups to Highlight Experts.” With billions of users, I wonder why it took Facebook years to figure out that it could identify individuals who “knew” something. Progress never stops in me-to land, of course. Is Facebook using its estimable smart software to identify those in know?

The article reports:

There are more than 70 million administrators and moderators running active groups, Facebook says. When asked how they’re vetting the qualifications of designated experts, a Facebook spokesperson said it’s “all up the discretion of the admin to designate experts who they believe are knowledgeable on certain topics.”

I think this means that humans identify experts. What if the human doing the identifying does not know anything about the “expertise” within another Facebooker?

Yeah, maybe give Oracle Beehive a jingle. Just a thought.

Stephen E Arnold, July 14, 2021


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