Keywords: expertise sharing, expertise location, expertise finding, knowledge sharing
Our group was one of the originators of expertise sharing as an area of study. It could be argued that Answer Garden was one of the first systems to examine how people could serve as knowledge sources, especially groups of people acting and working together.
Our work, and the rest of CSCW, followed two strands in expertise sharing. Ackerman and Halverson (2004) pointed out that you can either have systems who find others in an organization (or organizations) who would have the requisite expertise or skills - that is you can bring the problem to the right people by routing it effectively and efficiently. Alterntively, you can have places where people with problems can go to find people who have the right expertise. This translated into online communities (initially restricted in scope and size) that allowed people to share their knowledge.
Our work has included expertise finders, people recommenders, and collaborative help systems. As well, we have conducted many studies of how people helped one another through computer-mediated communications and within organizations. As the span of networks and computational systems expanded, the scope of our study expanded to Internet-scale systems and communities. Recent work has also expanded to Q&A communities (question-and-answer) communities and social search.