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Colloquium - Shneiderman

A National Initiative for Technology-Mediated Social/Civic Participation
University of Maryland, College Park
1/26/2010
10:00am-11:00am

Technology-mediated social participation is generated when social networking tools (such as Facebook), blogs and microblogs (Twitter), user-generated content sites (YouTube), discussion groups, problem reporting, recommendation systems, and other social media are applied to national priorities such as health, energy, education, disaster response, environmental protection, business innovation, cultural heritage, or community safety.

Fire, earthquake, storm, fraud, or crime reporting sites provide information to civic authorities, AmberAlert has more than 7 million users who help with information on child abductions, Peer-to-Patent provides valuable information for patent examiners, and the SERVE.GOV enables citizens to volunteer for national parks, museums and other institutions. These early attempts hint at the vast potential for technology-mediated social participation, but substantial research is needed to scale up, raise motivation, control malicious attacks, limit misguided rumors, and protect privacy (iparticipate.wikispaces.com).

As national initiatives are launched in several countries to dramatically increase research and education on social media, a coordinated approach will be helpful. Clearly stated research challenges should have three key elements: (1) close linkage to compelling national priorities (2) scientific foundation based on established theories and well-defined research questions (privacy, reciprocity, trust, motivation, recognition, etc.), and (3) computer science research challenges (security, privacy protection, scalability, visualization, end-user development, distributed data handling for massive user-generated content, network analysis of community evolution, cross network comparison, etc.).

Potential short-term interventions include:

Co-sponsored by the Institute of Cognitive Science.
Hosted by Gerhard Fischer.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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www.cs.colorado.edu
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