Technology-Mediated Social Participation

The growing impact of social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, Youtube, Flickr, etc.) is changing the way people work, relate, think, and feel. It has great potential for payoffs for national priorities such as disaster response, health/wellness, community safety, energy sustainability, citizen science, open government, etc., but there are also dangers such as privacy invasion and malicious use by vandals, criminals, terrorists, racial hate groups, and oppressive governments. Ensuring universal usability/access, scalability, and reliability during peak usage are also challenges that require interdisciplinary research.

This lecture series is meant to build awareness and stimulate collaborations across UMCP sponsoring units and beyond, in the hope of establishing UMCP as a national leader for this emerging topic. The lectures will be presented by selected working groups, but there are many more active researchers within these five units and elsewhere on campus (see partial list below). If interest is strong, further lectures can be added later in the semester.

Two NSF-funded workshops on Technology-Mediated Social Participation were run by UM faculty, which led to seven articles in a cover featured issue of IEEE Computer (November 2010). TMSP was also described in a short article in the Computing Research Assn January 2011 Newsletter

For an introduction to these topics, see the hour-long video and slides of Jennifer Preece and Ben Shneiderman speaking at the New America Foundation, with White House and Google respondents: Technology, Social Innovation, and Civic Participation: What's the Next Step?



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