C&T 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference

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    Facilitating participatory decision-making in local communities through map-based online discussion
    (Communities and Technologies 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference, 2009) Yu, Bo; Cai, Guoray
    GIS has been widely used for supporting decision-making in local communities. However, limited studies have been conducted to use maps directly as a communication tool to support community discussion. In this paper, we explore the potential of using geospatial annotations to facilitate map-based online discussion in local communities. We developed a prototype system, which explicitly links participants' discussion contributions with geographic references. The system is based on conceptual understanding of map-based discussion space, which guides the generation of system requirements. We demonstrate the utility of such systems by a hypothetical scenario of building a Smoke-Free campus in a university community.
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    Makumba: the role of the technology for the sustainability of amateur programming practice and community
    (Communities and Technologies 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference, 2009) Bogdan, Cristian; Mayer, Rudolf
    We address the issue of sustainability of practice, which we regard as crucial for the sustainability of the community at large. In the absence of material reward, sustaining a specialized activity such as programming is not trivial especially when members move often in and out of the community. Our case is the group of voluntary, amateur student programmers from a European-wide student organization. We present this setting as an Amateur Community and as a Community of Practice, and show how such framing helps in understanding sustainability of practice. Although being totally voluntary and managing a large intranet, the group has been thriving for six years. To explain such high practice sustainability we examine the role of the technology framework used by the group during this time. We then propose a more general framework for understanding practice sustainability in the context of amateur communities of practice.
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    Supporting community in third places with situated social software
    (Communities and Technologies 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference, 2009) McCarthy, Joseph F.; Farnham, Shelly D.; Patel, Yogi; Ahuja, Sameer; Norman, Daniel; Hazlewood, William R.; Lind, Josh
    The Community Collage (CoCollage) is designed to cultivate community in a café, a quintessential "third place", by bringing the richness of online social software into a physical community space. The system shows photos and quotes uploaded to a web site by café patrons and staff on a large computer display in the café, providing a new channel for awareness, interactions and relationships among people there. We describe the CoCollage system and report on insights and experiences resulting from a 2-month deployment of the system, focusing on the impact the system has had on the sense of community within the café.
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    Bowling online: social networking and social capital within the organization
    (Communities and Technologies 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference, 2009) Steinfield, Charles; DiMicco, Joan M.; Ellison, Nicole B.; Lampe, Cliff
    Within an organizational setting, social capital facilitates knowledge management processes in that it enables individuals to locate useful information, draw on resources and make contributions to the network. This paper explores the relationship between various dimensions of organizational social capital and the use of an internal social network site (SNS). We hypothesize that the use of a SNS contributes to social capital within the organization in that SNS users are able to maintain larger networks of heterogeneous contacts. Additionally, the affordances of the site support social interaction between users, thus helping individuals maintain existing relationships and deepen developing ones. We find that bonding relationships, sense of corporate citizenship, interest in connecting globally, and access to new people and expertise are all associated with greater intensity of use of the social network site.
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    Leveraging social software for social networking and community development at events
    (Communities and Technologies 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference, 2009) Farnham, Shelly D.; Brown, Peter T.; Schwartz, Jordan L.K.
    Professional networking is a primary goal of people attending conferences and events. Over the past year we have developed an online social networking and community tool for events, Pathable, to help attendees meet the right people. Pathable provides an online directory of attendee profiles, communication tools, and a recommendation system optimized to help people find each other based on commonalities. We performed a questionnaire study at a pathable-enabled event to assess the importance of social networking, and found that quality of conversations and sense of community were strong predictors of who said they would return year after year. In addition, the more people used Pathable to meet others at the event, the greater their event attachment and sense of community. Based on lessons learned from an overview of seventeen Pathable-enabled events, we provide guidelines for leveraging social software to optimize professional networking and community development at events.
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    Toward an analytic framework for understanding and fostering peer-support communities in using and evolving software products
    (Communities and Technologies 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference, 2009) Gorman, Andrew; Fischer, Gerhard
    The fundamental challenge for social computing is to contribute to fostering communities in which humans can transcend the limitation of the unaided,individual human mind by helping each other.Going beyond antidotal examples requires an analytical framework in which to interpret data in order to understand the context- and application-specific nature of these collaborations. We have studied peer-support communities (PSCs) in the context of the SAP Community Network (SCN), which relies on forums and conferences to support their collaboration. This research attempts to create a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of social support provided by peers in software development communities from the following perspectives: 1. Responsiveness--how responsive are communities to the needs of its members? 2. Engagement Intensity--how timely is the peer support? 3. Role Distribution--how wide is the participation of users and in what kind of roles do they participate? 4. Reward System--what is the impact of explicit reward (point) systems on community behavior? The data gained from analyzing these perspectives (and their comparison with open source software peer-support communities) has provided insights and led to an increased understanding of what works in PSCs. Here we articulate some initial design guidelines to further improve the potential benefits gained from these communities.
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    Analyzing (Social Media) Networks with NodeXL
    (Communities and Technologies 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference, 2009) Smith, Marc A.; Shneiderman, Ben; Milic-Frayling, Natasa; Mendes Rodrigues, Eduarda; Barash, Vladimir; Dunne, Cody; Capone, Tony; Perer, Adam; Gleave, Eric
    We present NodeXL, an extendible toolkit for network overview, discovery and exploration implemented as an add-in to the Microsoft Excel 2007 spreadsheet software. We demonstrate NodeXL data analysis and visualization features with a social media data sample drawn from an enterprise intranet social network. A sequence of NodeXL operations from data import to computation of network statistics and refinement of network visualization through sorting, filtering, and clustering functions is described. These operations reveal sociologically relevant differences in the patterns of interconnection among employee participants in the social media space. The tool and method can be broadly applied.
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    Measuring self-focus bias in community-maintained knowledge repositories
    (Communities and Technologies 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference, 2009) Hecht, Brent; Gergle, Darren
    Self-focus is a novel way of understanding a type of bias in community-maintained Web 2.0 graph structures. It goes beyond previous measures of topical coverage bias by encapsulating both node- and edge-hosted biases in a single holistic measure of an entire community-maintained graph. We outline two methods to quantify self-focus, one of which is very computationally inexpensive, and present empirical evidence for the existence of self-focus using a "hyperlingual" approach that examines 15 different language editions of Wikipedia. We suggest applications of our methods and discuss the risks of ignoring self-focus bias in technological applications.
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    Information Revelation and Internet Privacy Concerns on Social Network Sites: A Case Study of Facebook
    (Communities and Technologies 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference, 2009) Young, Alyson L.; Quan-Haase, Anabel
    Despite concerns raised about the disclosure of personal information on social network sites, research has demonstrated that users continue to disclose personal information. The present study employs surveys and interviews to examine the factors that influence university students to disclose personal information on Facebook. Moreover, we study the strategies students have developed to protect themselves against privacy threats. The results show that personal network size was positively associated with information revelation, no association was found between concern about unwanted audiences and information revelation and finally, students' Internet privacy concerns and information revelation were negatively associated. The privacy protection strategies employed most often were the exclusion of personal information, the use of private email messages, and altering the default privacy settings. Based on our findings, we propose a model of information revelation and draw conclusions for theories of identity expression.
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    Understanding collective content: purposes, characteristics and collaborative practices
    (Communities and Technologies 2009: Proceedings of the Fourth Communities and Technologies Conference, 2009) Olsson, Thomas
    User-created media content is being increasingly shared with the communities people belong to. The content has a role of a motivator in social interaction within the communities. In fact, the content creation and management can be often seen as a collective effort where group members participate to create common memories and maintain relationships. We studied how four communities interact with content that is collectively created and used, i.e. collective content. The aim was to explore communities' collaborative interaction activities and the purposes of the content to be able to specify what collective content actually is. We report users' motivations for creating the collective content and its role in community interaction. We determine the factors and characteristics by which collectivity (i.e. the extent to which something is collective) of the content can be described: the community's contribution, the relevance of the content and the level of sharing. Based on the results, we present a new dimension of collectivity for categorizing media content and thus being able to better illustrate the community aspects in content interaction.