New publication: Communities in Context: Towards Taking Control of Their Tools in Common(s)

Just published: A. de Moor (2015). Communities in Context: Towards Taking Control of Their Tools in Common(s). In The Journal of Community Informatics, 11(2).

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Abstract:

In this exploratory paper, we outline some issues of inter-community socio-technical systems governance. Our purpose here is not to solve these issues, but to raise awareness about the complexity of socio-technical governance issues encountered in practice. We aim to expand on the rather abstract definition of community-based Internet governance as proposed in the Internet for the Common Good Declaration, exploring how it plays out in practice in actual collaborating communities.  We introduce a simple conceptual model to frame these issues and illustrate them with a concrete case: the drafting and signing of the declaration. We show some of the shortcomings of and socio-technical fixes for Internet collaboration support in this particular case. We end this paper with a discussion on directions for strengthening the collaboration commons.

 

New publication – CulTech2015: Cultural Diversity and Technology Design

Just published: H. A. He, N. Memarovic, A. Sabiescu, A. de Moor (2015), CulTech2015: Cultural Diversity and Technology Design. In Avram, Gabriela; De Cindio, Fiorella; Pipek, Volkmar (eds.) (2015): Proceedings of the Work-In-Progress Track of the 7th International Conference on Communities and Technologies, Limerick, Ireland, 27-30 June, 2015, pp.153-156.

Collaboration Patterns for Social Innovation: The Dutch – US Connection?

As part of my visit to the  University of Alabama in Huntsville I gave a presentation “Creativity Meets Rationale – Collaboration Patterns for Social Innovation” at the College of Business Administration. It was based on the book chapter with the same title that was published earlier this year in the book “Creativity and Rationale: Enhancing Human Experience by Design”. The slides can be downloaded here.

From the discussion, it seemed that Europe is ahead in implementing scaled applications of social innovation,  although the US is catching up and making it a national priority as well, as indicated by the White House having created an Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.  See also the Economist article Let’s Hear Those Ideas. It would be interesting to see to what extent collaboration patterns for social innovation are alike and differ in the US and European contexts. As Huntsville has an incredible wealth of high-tech engineering knowledge seeking new applications, it would be a very worthwhile exercise to build and compare libraries of collaboration patterns in the Dutch Noord-Brabant and US Alabama cases. A common theme to investigate could be civil aerospace applications, for instance.

Expanding the Academic Research Community: Building Bridges into Society with the Internet

Below the slides of the honors lecture I just gave at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The slides can be downloaded here.

The talk is based on a book chapter with the same title that will be published by Monash University Publishing in the fall.  A preprint of this chapter can be downloaded here. Thanks to the students for all your great questions. If there’s any more, feel free to post them here as comments.

New publication: Towards Sheltered Communication Systems Design – A Socio-Technical Perspective

The proceedings were just published containing my paper: A. de Moor (2012). Towards Sheltered Communication Systems Design: A Socio-Technical Perspective. In Proc. of the 9th Community Informatics Research Network Conference, Prato, Italy, November 7-9, 2012.

130322_Sheltered communication systems

Abstract

Social media are powerful conversation technologies. However, exactly how social media afford and constrain complex social requirements in collaborative communities is still ill-understood. One of these requirements concerns the need for sheltered communication systems: systems that support and interlink spheres of stakeholder communication with different required degrees of opacity. We introduce our Socio-Technical Conversation Context Framework as a way to analyze and design such complex socio-technical communication systems. We use collaboration patterns grounded in this framework as conceptual building blocks to capture design lessons learnt about matching community requirements with enabling tool functionalities. We illustrate the approach with the “sheltered communications” lessons learnt in a Dutch case of developing an e-learning tool system for students with physical and mental limitations.

New publication: “It’s the Conversation, Stupid!” – Social Media Systems Design for Open Innovation Communities

130114_open innovation conversations

My joint book chapter with Mark Aakhus, “It’s the Conversation, Stupid!” Social Media Systems Design for Open Innovation Communities was just published in J.E. Lundström et al. (eds.), Managing Open Innovation Technologies, Springer, Berlin. ISBN 978-3-642-31649-4.

Abstract

Open innovation is about crossing boundaries to create networked synergies in/across collaborative communities. Conversations are the lifeblood of communities, building the common ground of shared meanings, beliefs, interests, norms, goals, trust and social capital. A fundamental challenge for open innovation lies in the successful crafting of the social media systems supporting the community conversations. Innovation communities (which are not limited to business interests but also include public and civic organizations and communities) therefore need to continuously make sense of the conversation context of the tools they use. We provide a conceptual lens with which to examine this socio-technical conversation context. We illustrate the use of this lens with a plausible scenario of open innovation in the societal stakeholder networks around climate change research.

“It’s the Conversation, Stupid!” – Social media systems design for open innovation communities

On November 5, the Swedish Open Innovation Forum organized a “Managing Open Innovation Technologies” workshop at Uppsala University, to present and discuss state-of-the-art research insights into open innovation & social media and for authors working on an anthology on this topic to get feedback on their draft chapters. It was a very lively meeting, generating lots of ideas for new research. Concluding, it was clear there’s still a very long way to go for social media to realize their full potential in this domain.

At the workshop, I gave a keynote on social media systems design for open innovation communities:

After that, my good friend and co-author Mark Aakhus (Rutgers University, USA), reflected upon what I said.  Mark wasn’t physically present, but participated from his study at his home in New Jersey, 6000 km away. Of course, I have been in many videoconferencing sessions, but normally these are cumbersome events, requiring lots of high tech, special rooms, microphones, cameras and what not. However, this time none of this was needed. All we used was a Mac and Skype. As Mark was presenting, he was displayed larger-than-life on the main screen using the projector:

Mark Aakhus presenting

Reception was crystal clear, he could hear everything being said, even in the back of the room. Things really got weird after he was finished.  The laptop was left on the table, and Mark’s image removed from the screen when other people used it to present their Powerpoints. However, once in a while, suddenly, the laptop started speaking, as Mark commented on something being said. The funny thing was that we all quickly got used to that situation, looking at and talking to a laptop as if it were a human being. Still, sometimes, Mark/the laptop would suddenly make a sound, and the whole flow of the conversation was disrupted, nobody quite sure what to make of it. A very strange and powerful experience of, literally, “extreme computer-mediated communication”!