Session 2: Social aspects of social computing

by richgazan

Session 1 feedback

Very good job in Session 1.  Most of you addressed all aspects of the assignment, challenged concepts in the readings with your own experiences and—perhaps most importantly—expressed yourselves in your own voice.  I genuinely enjoyed reading your posts and comments, and from the comment threads I think most of you did too.  Hopefully, the structure of this course will allow you to learn from each other throughout, so to that end, here are the Session 1 blogs I felt were the strongest:

If your blog doesn’t appear here, it probably means you analyzed fewer than three of the five readings, didn’t discuss them in sufficient depth, or didn’t address all aspects of the assignment.  Many of you not listed here got close to full credit for Session 1, but if everyone contributes to the standard of the examples above consistently throughout the course, no one will have to worry about their final grade.  Review the blog post guidelines on the syllabus, compare your blog to these examples, and you should both see the wide range of diverse and effective expression styles, and have a better idea of the expectations of the assignments going forward.  If you still have questions about your work, feel free to email me anytime.

Session 2

The Session 2 readings dig a little deeper, and address specific questions that recur across a range of social computing environments.  Weeks questions our responsibility to each other when we interact through a social computing medium with a particularly resonant example from Twitter.  Albrechtslund takes a more voyeuristic approach, analyzing how posters and viewers bestow and take away power as a result of mutual surveillance, and Mayer et al. describe what we can infer about others as a result of the interaction.  In a smaller study, Wagner et al. attempt to describe what kind of content gets the most attention in social computing environments, and Hodkinson focuses on a specific group of people and how they connect through this medium.  I know it’s still early in the semester, but your final projects in this course will require you to choose a question related to social computing and investigate it, so this session’s assignment asks you to read five examples of how diverse researchers have done the same thing, and asks you to do it on a much smaller scale.

By Sunday, Feb 3, 11:59pm

Complete the session’s readings, and address the following on your blog:

1)   Choose three of the five assigned readings for this session and point out specific connections or mismatches between concepts within them, the data and methods they use to investigate their research questions, and examples/counterexamples from your research or experience.

2)   From this analysis, identify one question raised by the readings that for you remains unanswered. Example: Albrechtslund mentions “empowering exhibitionism” as one rationale for online information sharing. What are some specific examples of empowerment, and is there a corresponding (or overriding) loss of power when putting personal information online?

3)   Join an online community (loosely defined) under your pseudonym, and conduct a small, preliminary investigation of your unanswered question. Choose a topic and community that is of genuine interest to you, where you are not already a member.  Describe how you investigated your question, why you chose this community, and your results.  Make your comments data-driven: link them to specific actions you and others took on the site that others could observe, and compare your data and methods to those used by the authors of this session’s papers.  Relate your experience back to the concepts you raised from the readings in part 1, and provide at least one screenshot or link to relevant portions of your interaction.

Remember, be sure your post is substantive enough to demonstrate your understanding of the relevant concepts from the papers you cite, and always feel free to address other aspects of the readings you find interesting as well.

By Friday Feb 8, 11:59pm

Comment substantively on at least five other students’ Session 2 posts.  Try to choose people you didn’t engage with in Session 1.


By Sunday Feb 10, 11:59pm

Conclude your conversations.