The Structure of Social Documents: Visualising Digital Traces of Collaborative Work
European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
Social documents are user-generated digital artefacts, created for collaboration and communication among employees. Typical examples are wiki articles or blog posts including comments and attachments, which are stored and interacted with in enterprise collaboration systems. These documents are highly networked and contain a huge amount of meta data about who created or contributed new information. They provide a valuable data source for the reconstruction of user interactions and can be transformed into detailed descriptions of patterns and practices of digital work. The analysis of such rich stories will help to develop a better understanding how digital collaboration takes place in organisations. Unfortunately, existing research on social documents as traces of digital work is very limited. Assembling the single traces to rich stories requires knowledge about components, possible compositions, relations and emerging structures of social documents. These characteristics are less explored and limit the use of social documents for further studies on collaborative activities. The proposed dissertation aims to contribute to this problem through an in-depth investigation of the structures of social documents by developing and applying methods and tools for visualising the network and graph characteristics of real data to uncover patterns and common characteristics of digital work.