Communities and Technologies Conference

Posted on: February 26, 2008

C&T Conference, held in East Lansing, Michigan. June 28-30, 2007.

I presented at the Public Practices, Social Software: Examining social practices in networked publics workshop.

Below are a some notes that I made from the workshop, mainly around interesting questions or quotes:

Gina Walejko asked whether attitudes towards privacy have changed as a result of media influence or other influences?

David Gurzick wondered if SNS sites/identities will become more universal? Will we be able to break free from walled gardens and communities?

Zeynep Tufekci provided a very interesting perspective on SNS by framing them in terms of “grassroots surveillance” (other scholars call this “lateral surveillance”). This is evidenced by coaches checking up on athletes, employers checking up on students, and campus police using SNS to find out party locations. Will this kind of surveillance cause identities on SNS to be constrained as people will be conscious of the surveillance?

Lee Humphreys conducted a study on mobile SNS. She wondered how social software empowered its users and/or contributed to a “participatory panopticon”

I am not sure where I got the following (Bernie Hogan perhaps?)
Inductive software design is making changes to software based on user interaction and playfulness with software. Users will often repurpose technology beyond the original or intended design, especially social software. Both systems and designers need to be flexible enough for change.

Here are some books that Marc Smith recommends:

Evolution of Cooperation by Robert Axelrod
Governing the Commons by Elinor Ostrom
The Presentation of Self in Everday Life by Erving Goffman
Hidden Dimenson by Edward Hall
Communities in Cyberspace by Marc Smith (coming out with a new book soon)
Anything by Tufte

I also had the distinct pleasure of meeting Michael Muller at the workshop. Michael works for IBM labs in Cambridge and does research on Dogear, their internal tagging system. From Michael I got the following tagging resources:

“Tagging, communities, vocabulary, evolution” by Sen et. al. presented at CSCW 2006

“Dogear: Social bookmarking in the enterprise” by David Millen

“Social Implication of the Internet'” by DiMaggio et. al.

“Why we blog” by Bonnie Nardi

Finally, after listening to some of the talks, I learned that tagging is often used to provide indirect contextual information. For example, in Slashdot, the tags are used by Rob Malda for moderation. While on Flickr the tags are used as part of the “interestingness” score and also for location specific information.

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Alla Zollers

I design products and services that just. make. sense.

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