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Technology-Mediated Social Participation Webshop



Monday, August 20th

Travel Day

1:45 PM Pre-day workshop: NodeXL / Social Network Analysis

Room 2309, Art-Sociology Building

6:30 PM Meetup at Cornerstone Grill & Loft

7325 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, MD 20740-3235. Map.


Tuesday, August 21st

8:00 AM Breakfast

8:45 AM Welcome Statement

Pat O'Shea (@eau-chez), VP Research

9:00 AM Introduction & Announcements

Session Chair: Ben Shneiderman (@benbendc)

9:15AM Presentation

Ben Shneiderman (@benbendc) & Jenny Preece (@jenpre)

Introduction to Technology-Mediated Social Participation

We review the history of the Technology-Mediated Social Participation agenda. We propose that research in this area should address national priorities, explore deep science questions, and design advanced technologies.  Novel research methods are needed that range from Big Data collection/analysis, in vivo interventions, rigorous case studies, and extreme ethnography.  New theories are emerging to address fundamental questions and guide community managers.

10:15 AM Presentation

Elizabeth Churchill (@xeeliz)

Data by Design

Current models of human sociality are increasingly influenced by analyses of logged data from online transactions and interactions on social media sites. Using case studies and examples, I will discuss limitations and opportunities that arise from this and argue for deeper collaboration between social theorists, interaction designers and data scientists.

11:00 AM Break

11:15 AM Presentation

Bernie Hogan (@blurky), Oxford Internet Institute

A survey of Facebook as a research site: From personal networks to the world's social graph and everything in between

While Facebook's IPO has taken some of the sheen off of the world's social media giant, the site still remains a germane and compelling site of research inquiry. Facebook's research potential comes from both its nearly billion users and its comprehensive API. This talk will tour some of the vastly expanding work on Facebook, from the author's work on personal networks up to work on the entire social graph. I discuss substantive findings on personality, social capital and networks structure as well as some of the technical considerations, ethical pitfalls, and theoretical limitations.

12:15 PM Lunch

1:45 PM Presentation

Noshir Contractor (Northwestern)

Some Assembly Required: Organizing in the 21st century

Recent technological advances provide comprehensive digital traces of social actions, interactions, and transactions. These data provide an unprecedented exploratorium to model the socio-technical motivations for creating, maintaining, dissolving, and reconstituting into teams – for research, business, or social causes. Using examples from research in virtual organizations and massively multiplayer online games, Contractor will argue that Network Science serves as the foundation for the development of social network theories and methods to help advance our ability to understand the emergence of effective teams. More importantly, he will argue that these insights will also enable effective teams by building a new generation of recommender systems that leverage our research insights on the socio-technical motivations for creating ties.

2:45 PM Presentation

David MacDonald (@noshir), University of Washington

Design Exploration to Realize Social Translucence in Wikipedia

The presentation will describe how our ongoing research project seeks to design socially translucent tools for Wikipedia. It will begin with a discussion of social translucence as a design approach for collaborative systems, focusing particularly on web-based contributor systems like Wikipedia. We will then describe and demonstrate a proxied system, Re:Flex, developed and currently deployed at the University of Washington. This discussion will include details about the design of architectures to realize social translucence, the structure and functionality of Re:Flex. The last portion of the talk will preview the next generation of Re:Flex and our work to extend principles of social translucence to understand the behavior of groups in WikiProjects.

3:45 PM Break

4:00 PM Workshop

Alan Neustadtl and Marc Smith

Mapping social media spaces

What can be learned from visualizations and measures of social media. Picturing social movements, political discussions, elections, and issues.

5:00 PM Workshop

Alan Neustadtl and Brian Butler

Realizing the potential of data

The volume of data about online communities, networks, and behavior is growing. However, there is a significant gap between the imagined uses of this resource for theoretically grounded, practically significant research and the reality of working with incomplete, largely undocumented, idiosyncratic data sources. In this workshop, we will exchange tips and tricks for working with different types of data -- and collectively work on identifying the features of a "well constructed" data resource for supporting high-impact research.

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM Group Dinner

8:30 PM Evening Networking Salon


Wednesday, August 22nd

8:00 AM Breakfast

9:00 AM Introduction & Announcements

Session Chair: Jenny Preece (@jenpre)

9:15 AM Presentation

Eszter Hargittai (@eszter), Northwestern

The Implications of Digital Inequality for Internet Research

Many of the questions being asked about digital media’s social implications assume universal outcomes across population segments. Many inquiries tend to take for granted that there is one overarching answer that applies to all cases disregarding that the answers may not apply uniformly across different groups. This talk will discuss disparities in people’s online practices and what challenges such digital inequality poses for Internet research - both as a tool and as a focus of inquiry - more generally speaking. 

10:15 AM Presentation

Ines Mergel (@InesMergel), Syracuse University

Social media adoption in the public sector: From early informal experimentation to institutionalization

How and why do government agencies adopt social media innovations? Using a qualitative approach to understand social media strategies, tactics and daily management, in this talk I will present a three-phase model of social media adoption in the public sector.

11:00 AM Break

11:15 AM Presentation

Libby Hemphill (@libbyh), Illinois Institute of Technology

Elected Officials and Social Media

In this talk, we'll take a look at Twitter data from US, European, and Korean elected officials to see how they're using social media. Are they facilitating vertical political communication? Are they shouting at each other? Do members of Congress, the European Parliament and Korean National Assembly behave differently on Twitter? Can officials' online behavior reliably predict how they'll vote? These are just some of the questions we'll use Twitter data to answer.

12:15 PM Lunch

1:45 PM Presentation

Nancy Baym (@nancybaym), Microsoft Research New England

Connecting with Audiences: Musicians and Social Media

Musicians are among the public figures who now have direct connections with audiences through social media. This talk will focus on 37 interviews with musicians about how that changes their experience and how they navigate the boundaries between fans and friends. In particular I will address methods for data collection and analysis when working with rich qualitative material concerning known individuals. 

2:45 PM Presentation

Lise Getoor, University of Maryland

Link Mining

In this talk, I will survey link mining methods from the machine learning and data mining communities, focusing on algorithms that can be especially useful for the rich, dynamic, multi-relational data which is commonly encountered in social media.  I will give an overview of several algorithms for inferring missing values, predicting future values, and correcting noisy information.  I will highlight opportunities for  technology mediated social participation to benefit from link mining techniques.  In the conclusion, I will discuss connections and contrasts between link mining and privacy.

3:45 PM Break

4:00 PM Workshop

5:00 PM Workshop

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM Group Dinner

8:30 PM Evening Networking Event


Thursday, August 23rd

8:00 AM Breakfast

9:00 AM Introduction & Announcements

Session Chair: Alan Neustadtl

9:15 AM Presentation

David Huffaker (@davetown101), Google

Applying Social Research at Google

I'll share examples of how social research is used to inform the design and strategy of Google's social products.

10:15 AM Presentation

Cliff Lampe (@clifflampe), University of Michigan

Social Science, Social Media, and Understanding Large-scale Interaction

From studying Slashdot and Facebook, to creating new sites for public use, I'll describe different ways to approach the study of social media sites and how they facilitate distributed collaboration. In this talk, I'll discuss the pros and cons of mixed methods, and tying multiple research questions under the same overall research question.

11:15 AM Presentation

Gerhard Fischer, University of Colorado

Cultures of Participation

The rise in social computing has facilitated a shift from consumer cultures (specialized in producing finished artifacts to be consumed passively) to cultures of participation (in which all people are provided with the means to participate and to contribute actively in personally meaningful problems).

12:15 PM Lunch

1:45 PM Travel to Brookings Institute

3:00 PM Presentation

Erwin Gianchandani, Zeynep Tufekci (@techsoc), Lee Rainie (@lrainie)

4:30 PM

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM Group Dinner @ Buca di Beppo, 1825 Connecticut Ave NW

8:30 PM Summer evening around Dupont Circle in Washington D.C.


Friday, August 24th

8:00 AM Breakfast

9:00 AM Introduction & Announcements

Session Chair: Marc Smith (@Marc_Smith)

9:15 AM Presentation

Jessica Vitak (@jvitak), University of Maryland

When Contexts Collapse: Managing Self-Presentation Across Social Media

The technical structure of sites like Facebook and Twitter facilitate context collapse, in which multiple distinct audiences are aggregated. Depending on their motivations and desired outcomes of use, users may adopt various strategies to exploit context collapse or to recreate some of the boundaries they have offline.

10:00 AM Presentation

Katie Shilton (@KatieShilton), University of Maryland

Participatory Personal Data

Individuals can increasingly collect data about their habits, routines, and environment using ubiquitous, location-aware technologies. The personal data collected by these devices can enable new forms of technologically-mediated social participation, including participation in health research and clinical treatment, citizen science, and community safety. But this new form of data collection also raises concerns about privacy, equity, and surveillance. This talk will explore approaches to enabling new forms of participatory data collection while addressing the social challenges.

10:45 AM Break

11:00 AM Presentation

Jen Golbeck (@jengolbeck), University of Maryland

Politics on Twitter

Twitter has become an outlet for sharing information and communicating in a variety of contexts and the political arena is no exception. We present an overview of two studies on the use of Twitter in this arena. First, we present a study of how members of US Congress members use twitter. Then, as many media outlets create online personas, we seek to automatically estimate the political preferences of their audience, rather than of the outlet itself. We present a novel method for computing preference among an organization’s Twitter followers. We present an application of this technique to estimate political preference of the audiences of U.S. media outlets. We also discuss how these results may be used and extended, with particular focus on the upcoming election.

11:45 AM Presentation

Kevin Crowston, Syracuse University

Socio-Computational Research

Socio-computational systems comprise people and technology to perform computations that neither could do alone. In this talk, I will discuss three socio-computational research projects: combining human and NLP coding of qualitative data, and two systems to support citizen science.

12:30 PM Lunch

1:45 PM Presentation

Jana Diesner, UIUC

Words and Networks: Considering the Content of Text Data for Network Analysis

The functioning of networks often involves the production, processing and flow of information and communication. Such data are often available as unstructured, natural language text data. Without considering the content of these text data, we are limited in our ability to understand the effects of language use in networks, including the transformative role that language can play on networks, and the relationship between information and network properties. A complicating factor is that sometimes the structure and behavior of networks are encoded in the text data itself. In these cases, network data needs to be extracted from the texts. In my presentation, I address methodological and substantive questions related to bringing together text data and relational data, such as:

  • In general, what methods are available for extracting network data from text data, and how do the obtained network data and analysis results compare to each other? How can these methods be combined to obtain a more coherent view on a network?
  • What methods are available for considering the substance of information and communication for network analysis? How can we enhance social network data to represent the language use of network participants, and how can we analyze such multi-modal data?

I illustrate the main research results with examples from my applied work in the domains of business, geo-politics, science, and covert networks. Genres considered in my talk include email data, interview data, meeting transcripts, news wire data, and data on collaborative work.

2:45 PM Presentation

Paul Resnick (@psresnick), University of Michigan

Healthier Together: Social Approaches to Health and Wellness

Many recent applications involve tracking and sharing health-related states and behaviors. Such applications can help people make judgments about medicines and treatments to try, and can provide inspiration, accountability, and support for behavior change.

3:45 PM Presentation

Itai Himelboim, University of Georgia

Information Sources on Twitter

Social media, and Twitter in particular, are popular spaces for individuals and organizations to exchange and broadcast information. I will talk about the different ways social network analysis allows you to track and compare the use of information sources by individuals and cluster of users. Examples from political and heath-related Twitter topic-networks will be discussed using NodeXL.

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM Closing Session




Summer Social Webshop Webmaster: PJ Rey



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