C&T 2011: 5th International Conference on Communities & Technologies

The biennial Communities and Technologies (C&T) conference is the premier international forum for stimulating scholarly debate and disseminating research on the complex connections between communities – both physical and virtual – and information and communication technologies. C&T 2011 welcomes participation from researchers, designers, educators, industry, and students from the many disciplines and perspectives bearing on the interaction between community and technology, including architecture, arts, business, design, economics, education, engineering, ergonomics, information technology, geography, health, humanities, law, media and communication studies, and social sciences. The conference program will include competitively selected, peer-reviewed papers, as well as pre-conference workshops, a doctoral consortium, and invited keynote and panel speakers. We look forward to welcoming you to an exciting conference in Brisbane, Australia’s new world city.

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  • Text Document
    Global online meetings in virtual teams: from media choice to interaction negotiation
    (Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - C&T '11, 2011) Pongolini, Malin; Lundin, Johan; Svensson, Lars
    This paper draws on an ethnographical study of a community of technology experts within a global automotive manufacturing company that uses information technology to communicate and collaborate in global virtual teams. Our findings show that discussions, negotiations, compromises and joint problem solving characterize media choices made in virtual teamwork. Practitioners are adding new media to ongoing interactions, rather than using media in sequence. Furthermore, one medium is not used exclusively, rather a number of media can be used in parallel. This shows that some of the fundamental assumptions built into the concept of media choice theories, are somewhat problematic as an analytical perspective when virtual teams are researched in real settings outside of laboratories and hypothetical scenarios.
  • Text Document
    panOULU: triple helix driven municipal wireless network providing open and free internet access
    (Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - C&T '11, 2011) Ojala, Timo; Orajärvi, Jukka; Puhakka, Katriina; Heikkinen, Ilari; Heikka, Juhani
    This paper describes the birth, evolution and current status of a unique wireless city network provided by a consortium of municipalities, public research and educational institutions, and industry. The relevance of the network is illustrated with statistics of providing open and free Internet access to the general public and with R&D examples. The keys to the success of the network have included brave collaboration transgressing organizational boundaries, strong political and operative leadership, cost-effective outsourcing, and the 'KISS' principle in network design.
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    Crowdsourcing in the cultural heritage domain: opportunities and challenges
    (Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - C&T '11, 2011) Oomen, Johan; Aroyo, Lora
    Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (short: GLAMs) around the globe are beginning to explore the potential of crowdsourcing, i. e. outsourcing specific activities to a community though an open call. In this paper, we propose a typology of these activities, based on an empirical study of a substantial amount of projects initiated by relevant cultural heritage institutions. We use the Digital Content Life Cycle model to study the relation between the different types of crowdsourcing and the core activities of heritage organizations. Finally, we focus on two critical challenges that will define the success of these collaborations between amateurs and professionals: (1) finding sufficient knowledgeable, and loyal users
  • Text Document
    Questions, inspiration, feedback, and contributions: how entrepreneurs network online
    (Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - C&T '11, 2011) Nylander, Stina; Rudström, Åsa
    This work investigates how entrepreneurs use social networking sites for business. Through surveys, online discussions and interviews, we have looked at activities, motives for participating on networking sites for business, motives for contributing, and differences between online and offline networking. Our results show that networking, facts finding, and marketing are very common activities while sharing of experience is quite rare. Entrepreneurs connect with new people online rather than reifying offline networks. A novel use of social media is that of small businesses using Facebook as a web hotel. We believe that an important explanation to our results is that social media are still informal and not yet incorporated in traditional work routines.
  • Text Document
    Discussing illicit drugs in public internet forums: visibility, stigma, and pseudonymity
    (Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - C&T '11, 2011) Barratt, Monica J.
    It has been claimed that people discuss their own illicit drug use online because anonymity allows them to avoid the legal and social risks of identifying themselves as drug users. Discourses around the risks, strategies and management of online drug discussion were produced by interviewing 26 'party drug' users who reported participating in internet forums where drugs were discussed. Three factors influenced the extent to which drug forum users discussed their own drug use in public internet forums: perceived visibility, perceived legal risk and social stigma, and perceived effectiveness of pseudonymity. Implications for internet research with drug users are discussed.
  • Text Document
    The spaces between: ICT and marginalization in the South African city
    (Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - C&T '11, 2011) Odendaal, Nancy
    Popular media and policy rhetoric often portray Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a means to social and economic empowerment. Many assumptions embedded in ICT for Development (ICT4D) literature do the same. The ubiquitous presence of mobile telephony in emerging countries such as South Africa and proliferation of digital networks imply a critical role for these technologies in overcoming physical constraints in space. Is access to technology enough however? This paper responds by reflecting on two sources of data collected over a three-year period in Durban, South Africa. A web development process for community organizations in two townships was followed and documented. The second data source entailed focus groups conducted with foreign street traders (hawkers) active in many parts of the city. The notion of 'spaces between' refers to the in-between physical places not well served by ICT and other infrastructure, where cell phone access provides the only opportunity for digital connection. It also refers to the 'blind spots' in policy making and city governance. Here it refers to the in-between 'spaces' of those engaged in the informal economy, many of whom are foreign nationals exposed to harassment and violence off the landscape of legitimacy and economic inclusion.
  • Text Document
    Plugged in to the community: social motivators in online goal-setting groups
    (Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - C&T '11, 2011) Burke, Moira; Settles, Burr
    At personal goal-setting websites, people join others in committing to a challenging goal, such as losing ten pounds or writing a novel in a month. Despite the popularity of these online communities, we know little about whether or how they improve goal performance. Based on theories of goal-setting and group attachment, we examine the influence of two social factors in an online "songwriting challenge" community: early feedback evoking a shared social identity, and one-on-one collaborations with other members. Combining five years of longitudinal behavioral data with member surveys, we find that users who engage in these social features perform better on their goals than those who are non-social. Furthermore, these early social experiences are associated with strong community-centric behaviors in the long term, including donating money and providing feedback to others.
  • Text Document
    Do lurking learners contribute less?: a knowledge co-construction perspective
    (Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - C&T '11, 2011) Chen, Fei-Ching; Chang, Hsiu-Mei
    Drawing upon the emergent idea that "the negotiation of meaning involves the interaction of participation and reification", this study proposes an entirely different perspective on lurking. Collecting data from 82 group forums with a total of 490 members, we identify 46 lurking learners by comparing the online/postings ratio of each member within the group. Further classification of these lurkers provides an opportunity to highlight the neglected contribution of the types of lurkers who go online regularly but post only sporadically from the framework of knowledge co-construction. This paper concludes by challenging the common emphasis on the quantity of postings.
  • Text Document
    Playing with empathy: digital role-playing games in public meetings
    (Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - C&T '11, 2011) Gordon, Eric; Schirra, Steven
    Digital role-playing games can be an effective tool for augmenting deliberation in a community planning process. We study the implementation of a game called Participatory Chinatown---a 3D, multiplayer game designed to be played in the shared physical space of a master planning meeting in Boston's Chinatown neighborhood. This research examines how role-play can affect the way people understand local issues and engage with their community. It also points to the challenges of extending player empathy from the magic circle of gameplay to the larger context of a community meeting. It suggests that emotional engagement with character and or space does not easily translate into a rational decision-making process. The authors make suggestions for future research that might address this challenge.
  • Text Document
    Motivating domestic energy conservation through comparative, community-based feedback in mobile and social media
    (Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - C&T '11, 2011) Petkov, Petromil; Köbler, Felix; Foth, Marcus; Krcmar, Helmut
    The progress of technology has led to the increased adoption of energy monitors among household energy consumers. While the monitors available on the market deliver real-time energy usage feedback to the consumer, the format of this data is usually unengaging and mundane. Moreover, it fails to address consumers with different motivations and needs to save and compare energy. This paper presents a study that seeks to provide initial indications for motivation-specific design of energy-related feedback. We focus on comparative feedback supported by a community of energy consumers. In particular, we examine eco-visualisations, temporal self-comparison, norm comparison, one-on-one comparison and ranking, whereby the last three allow us to explore the potential of socialising energy-related feedback. These feedback types were integrated in EnergyWiz -- a mobile application that enables users to compare with their past performance, neighbours, contacts from social networking sites and other EnergyWiz users. The application was evaluated in personal, semi-structured interviews, which provided first insights on how to design motivation-related comparative feedback.