C&T 2005: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2005

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  • Text Document
    How to win a World Election: Emergent Leadership in an International Online Community
    (Communities and Technologies: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2005, 2005) Cassell, Justine; Huffaker, David; Tversky, Dona; Ferriman, Kim
    In light of the recent U.S. presidential election, our attention is once again focused on the characteristics that determine perceptions of leadership and the factors that determine elections. It appears that style, appearance and language are at least as important as the issues and beliefs of the candidates. With television, for instance, discourse may largely be conducted through visual imagery (Postman 1985), in which physical appearance and nonverbal behaviors magnify the political platform of the respective parties. In fact, for presidential candidates, happy/reassuring facial displays during television interviews elicit more change in the electorate’s attitudes than party identification, position on campaign issues or assessment of leadership capability (Sullivan and Masters 1988). Similarly, an experimental study of women’s images shows that the manipulation of attractiveness in photographs on campaign flyers affect election results (Rosenberg, Kahn et al. 1991). In the early days of the Internet, much was made of the fact that superficial characteristics such as height and weight would not – could not – play a role in interpersonal relationships. As our experiences with the online world have increased, it has become clear that some of these characteristics are not in fact skin-deep. Communication online is as gendered as it is in the real-world. And 150 power is reproduced faithfully, even when physical strength is irrelevant. Little research, however, has returned to an examination of the correlation between individual traits and leadership, in contexts where sight and sound do not play a role. What happens, then, when elections take place online, in an environment where we can no longer see the physical appearance or nonverbal behavior of the candidates? Does language become the predominant factor in perceiving leadership? If discourse is all that is left to judge the potential leaders of a virtual group, what linguistic characteristics serve as criteria for electing a leader? In order to address these questions, we examine data from the JUNIOR SUMMIT, an online community composed of 3000 children from 139 different countries who had to choose 100 delegates to attend a highly coveted week-long symposium in the U.S. Without ever seeing each other face-to-face, and in a community almost entirely free of adult intervention, these children traded messages in an online forum about how technology could improve life for young people around the world. They then elected leaders to represent their community in a real-world meeting with political and industry leaders from around the world (Cassell 2002). From the children’s messages to one another in the months leading up to the election, we are able to examine the linguistic cues and language use that predict who emerged as a leader in the group and how leaders were perceived by the group.
  • Text Document
    Acceptance and Utility of a Systematically Designed Virtual Community for Cancer Patients
    (Communities and Technologies: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2005, 2005) Leimeister, Jan Marco; Krcmar, Helmut
    Virtual Communities (VCs) offer ubiquitous access to information and exchange possibilities for people in similar circumstances. This is especially valuable for patients with chronic / life-threatening diseases as they exhibit strong needs for information and interaction. Grounded on the preceding findings of the analysis on the user-centric construction of the VC krebsgemeinschaft.de, this article describes the evaluation of the underlying design elements and success factors by assessing the user’s acceptance and usage of the site. The results obtained empirically substantiated insights into the systematic development and operation of VCs in general and for a subgroup of cancer patients in the German healthcare system in particular.
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    File-Sharing Relationships – conflicts of interest in online gift-giving
    (Communities and Technologies: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2005, 2005) Skågeby, Jörgen; Pargman, Daniel
    This paper suggests a relationship model for describing, analyzing and foreseeing conflicts of interest in file-sharing networks. The model includes levels of relationship ranging from the individual (ego), to the small group of close peers (micro), to a larger network of acquaintances (meso) to the anonymous larger network (macro). It is argued that an important focal point for analysis of cooperation and conflict is situated in the relations between these levels. Three examples of conflicts from a studied file-sharing network are presented. Finally, the relationship model is discussed in terms of applicability to other domains, recreational as well as professional.
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    Extending Social Constructivism with Institutional Theory: A Broadband Civic Networking Case
    (Communities and Technologies: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2005, 2005) Venkatesh, Murali; Shin, Dong Hee
    A longitudinal study of broadband civic network design is analyzed using social construction of technology (SCOT) approach and then through the lens of institutional theory. SCOT is useful to show how artifacts take on the forms they do; institutional theory, by locating (design) action in a cultural, historical and structural context can complement SCOT by explaining why they tend to assume certain forms. Broadband civic networking initiatives often have mixed goals: ensuring financial viability and realizing normative social aims. In the present case, this tension was resolved by fitting the network’s technological and social form to a criterion of legitimacy prevailing among power centers in the broader field; this succeeded in eliciting necessary financial resources to sustain the network, but at the expense of the project’s normative aims. Institutional approaches theorize the relation of cultural ideas and social structure, and that of structure and social action, to interrogate micro-politics of social constructions and the (intended/unintended) forms they assume. To engage the Why question, constructivists need to theorize action. Sociological institutional theory offers pointers.
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    Virtual Community Management as Socialization and Learning
    (Communities and Technologies: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2005, 2005) Pargman, Daniel
    How does a (virtual) community thrive and survive over time? From having studied a thirteen-year old Swedish-language adventure mud, I here suggest that our understanding of the answer has to be built on a social theory of learning that takes into account that learning has to do with community, practice, meaning and identity. Making a “career” in a community of practice can be regarded as a movement from the periphery to the core, a movement from being a novice to becoming an expert in the activities that are central to the community. On that journey, the individual is over time “configured” into learning how to act, reason and think about the community in the right way.
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    Minimalist Design for Informal Learning in Community Computing
    (Communities and Technologies: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2005, 2005) Rosson, Mary Beth; Carroll, John M.
    We discuss the role and characteristics of informal learning in a community computing context. We argue that minimalist design can be adapted to the needs of community computing, and that its principles can be used to envision and develop community activities and technologies that promote active learning. We illustrate these ideas with several community computing projects that exemplify how to embed learning in meaningful activities, enable learners to make progress quickly, promote thinking and inference, evoke and leverage prior knowledge, and support error recognition and recovery. We conclude with a discussion of how minimalism might be used more broadly to guide the design of community computing systems and activities.
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    Local Communities: Relationships between ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ social capital
    (Communities and Technologies: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2005, 2005) Liff, Sonia
    The paper explores forms of ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ social capital within a geographical area of the UK comprising 65 ‘communities’. Measures of real social capital based on formal community organisations were compared with web-activity relating to the same communities. Three main types of websites were identified: first a local government scheme which created ‘identikit’ websites for each of the places which could then be taken up by local people; second a similar scheme operated by a private company and covering the whole of the UK; and third independent, bottom up sites created by social entrepreneurs or community groups. Numbers and forms of organisations and websites, and levels and forms of community web-based participation were measured for each community at two points in 2004. The analysis suggests no strong correlation between these measures of real and virtual social capital. The analysis further suggests that providing a ready made website rarely results in the creation of a developed community site – although it may provide outlets for more limited information exchanges. However bottom up sites which reflect the heterogeneity of real communities are also rare. Interviews with participants suggest the need to understand more about the social networks, practices and organisational forms that sustain community engagement with community websites
  • Text Document
    Supporting Communities by Providing Multiple Views
    (Communities and Technologies: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2005, 2005) Agostini, Alessandra; Albolino, Sara; De Paoli, Flavio; Grasso, Maria Antonietta; Hinrichs, Elke
    A number of dimensions are relevant in order to successfully support community life and development. These dimensions include the easiness and broad spectrum of participation, the provision of value in return to the contributions, the visibility of community activity, the support of different levels of membership, the openness to the external world, and the support for evolving phases of the community life. In this paper we present a system that has been designed in order to tackle those dimensions with a particular attention to participation issues. We present first the sources of requirements that have informed the system design and which include the user observation of two companies. Then we present the system, stressing the features of integration with the daily working environment and the provision of multiple situated views, as a means to address the elicited requirements. Finally, we compare our design choices with a broader set of requirements that we have derived from literature.
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    Regulation Mechanisms in an Open Social Media using a Contact Recommender System
    (Communities and Technologies: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2005, 2005) Vignollet, L.; Plu, M.; Marty, J. C.; Agosto, L.
    This paper presents how an information exchange network can be improved by users' collaboration. This social media is based on content recommendation. Instead of using an automated content recommender system, we suggest an alternative approach where the information comes from trusted users. In order to overcome traditional problems of an open social media, we propose some regulation mechanisms. First each user manually controls her/his contacts network. Second we have introduced a contact recommender system to help users to carefully open their closed relationship network. This recommender system selects the recommended relationships in such a way it should optimize some global qualities of the social media. This paper details the algorithms of this recommendation process.
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    Supporting Privacy Management via Community Experience and Expertise
    (Communities and Technologies: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Communities and Technologies 2005, 2005) Goecks, Jeremy; Mynatt, Elizabeth D.
    We propose a novel approach for supporting privacy management that leverages community experience and expertise via the process of social navigation. Social navigation simplifies the often complex task of managing privacy settings, and systems that employ social navigation can advantageously complement user privacy management processes. We implemented our approach to privacy management in the Acumen system; Acumen uses social navigation to enable individuals to manage their Internet cookies both manually and automatically based on the behavior of others in the community. We present the Acumen system in detail and discuss data obtained from a six-week, preliminary deployment of Acumen. Lastly, we discuss challenges that systems implementing our approach must address if they are to be successful.