Defining Participation in Technological Groups
Kevin Almeroth (CompSci595N) & Bruce Bimber (PolSci595N) & Alan Liu (Engl593)
Lisa Parks & Jennifer Earl
Technology is increasingly playing a larger role in society. From
clearly beneficial uses to more questionable uses, little attention
has been paid to how technology impacts society. Furthermore,
technology has the potential to greatly influence what "society"
even is and subsequently, how we participate in it. The focus of
this seminar is on taking a closer look at what new societal groups
are being created as a result of technology and how technology has
an impact. The kinds of groups at the forefront of this evolution
run the complete spectrum and include: chat rooms, virtual worlds,
multi-user games, volunteer organizations, education, and job-related
environments. Given these groups, the focus becomes on how
technology affects group organization, how members interact, and
what effect technology has the resulting impact. And finally, what
might be an interesting set of questions worth pursuing?
The goal of this seminar is to bring together an inter-disciplinary
group of faculty and graduate students to establish a framework
for discussing this topic; build a collection of cross-discipline
knowledge and related work; and start to define the new roles that
have evolved as a result of pervasive technology.
The format for this seminar is a combination of free-form discussion
and presentations of relevant papers by graduate students. Depending
on how many enroll, students should be expected to identify relevant
research from their discipline and give a 30-60 minute presentation
during one of the classes. Furthermore, an expected outcome is to
find a subset of students who are interested in continuing work in
this area and formalizing the concepts discussed during the quarter
into a paper.
Jan 05: Class Introductions
Jan 12: Topic Discussions
Jan 19: Research Methodology Discussion
Jan 26: J. Heer and P. Khooshabeh, "Seeing the Invisible",
Workshop on Invisible \& Transparent Interfaces, Gallipoli, Italy, May 2004.
Feb 02: S. Feiner, B. Macintypre, D. Sellgmann, "Knowledge-Based
Augmented Reality", Communications of the ACM, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 53-63, July 1993.
(presented by Jason Withers)
Feb 09: M. Grace-Martin and G. Gay, "We Browsing, Mobile Computing
and Academic Performance", Educational Technology and Society, vol 4, no. 3, pp. 95-107, July 2001.
(presented by Monica Bulger)
Feb 16: A. Garyfalos and K. Almeroth, "Coupons: Wide Scale Information Distribution for Wireless Ad Hoc Networks", IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference (Globecom) Global Internet and Next Generation Networks Symposium, Dallas, Texas, USA, December 2004. (presented by Kevin Almeroth)
Feb 23: "The Color of Romance: Exploring (Mis)Representations of Interracial Relationships in Television Media: A Sociological Study in Race/Media Issues" (presented by Kelsey Woods)
Mar 02: Final Round Table Discussion
Mar 09: Reserved/TBA
Email addresses modified to avoid trolling, use common sense to reconstruct
- Kevin Almeroth (almeroth.cs.ucsb.edu): No class-related bio yet.
- Marin Balde (balde.cs.ucsb.edu): My interests are in social computing, how technology plays a part in
social interaction, and inventing new software/tech to increase or
change the way we interact.
- Bruce Bimber (bimber.polsci.ucsb.edu): Class-related bio pending.
- Monica Bulger (mbulger.education.ucsb.edu): As a former writing
instructor and current Ph.D. student in Education, I am interested in
how technology is effectively integrated into the classroom. My current
focus is on the activities of university students in computer-equipped
composition classrooms. Working in collaboration with an
interdisciplinary team, I am using monitoring software to
instantaneously measure student engagement based on their in-class
- Ryan Garver (rgarver.cs.ucsb.edu):
As a computer scientist my interests lie in distributed systems.
Extending this to the social sphere, I find the interaction of individuals
fascinating. Understanding how technology on a large scale affects our
lives, I believe, will provide a strong understanding of what technologies
will be accepted, and therefore, where this field is going.
- Pete Khooshabeh (khooshabeh.psych.ucsb.edu): I am interested in looking at the notion of invisibility and how it relates to participation.
- Alan Liu (ayliu.english.ucsb.edu): Alan Liu is the weaver of Voice of the Shuttle (http://vos.ucsb.edu). He is
a Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa
Barbara, where he has taught since 1988. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford
University in 1980 and taught in the English Department and British Studies
Program at Yale University from 1979-87. His central interests include
literary theory, cultural studies, information culture and new media, and
British Romantic literature. He is the author of _Wordsworth: The Sense of
History_ (Stanford Univ. Press, 1989) and _The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work
and the Culture of Information_ (U. Chicago Press, 2004). He is principal
investigator of the NEH-funded Teaching with Technology project at UCSB
titled, Transcriptions: Literature and the Culture of Information
(http://transcriptions.english.ucsb.edu), and co-director of the English
Dept's undergraduate specialization on Literature and the Culture of
Information. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic
Literature Organization (ELO) and chair of the Technology/Software Committee
of the ELO's PAD Initiative (Preservation / Archiving / Dissemination of
Electronic Literature). Most recently, he has started the UCSB project
titled Transliteracies: Research in the Technological, Cognitive, Social,
and Cultural Practices of Reading in Online Environments
- Molly Moloney (mem1.umail.ucsb.edu): I'm a Ph.D. student in the sociology department. My areas of interest include
the sociology of culture and cultural studies; media and popular cultures;
technology; race and gender. Though rooted in sociology, one constant in my
studies has been trying to work between disciplines, drawing on and trying to
synthesizing sometimes competing disciplinary literatures and research
traditions (from my earlier work in women's studies and critical race studies
to my current work in cultural and media studies and studies of technology and
culture). So, it's with that spirit. rather than with a specific project, that
I come to this class. (That, and my frustration with the underanalysis of the
internet and new media within sociology, which really necessitates a fair
amount of searching outside of the discipline.) My dissertation examines the
framing of debates over the future of television (as a social and cultural
institution) in the wake of new media technologies and digitization, and
specifically on transformations of ideas of ownership and audiences with
respect to these convergences. I'm looking at specific case studies including
regulatory debates over copy protection technologies; industry and other
responses to digital television technologies such as the digital video recorder
(e.g. TiVo); and struggles between different stakeholders (including producers
and fans) over ownership, property, and audiences of television and new media
- Lisa Parks (firstname.lastname@example.org): Lisa is an Associate Professor in the Department at Film and Media
Studies at UC-Santa Barbara. Her research explores the social and cultural
implications of satellite, television, and computer technologies in a
global context. She is the author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the
Televisual (Duke University Press 2005) and co-editor of Planet TV: A
Global Television Reader (NYU Press 2002). She has also published essays in
the journals Screen, Television and New Media, Social Identities, and
Ecumene and in books such as MediaSpace, The Visual Culture Reader, and
Residual Media. She has conducted research in the US, Australia, and former
Yugoslavia, and traveled to Mongolia last summer to study emerging media
technologies there. Parks has taught as a visiting professor in the School
of Cinema-TV at USC and at the Institute for Graduate Study in the
Humanities in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is also co-producer of several media
projects including Experiments in Satellite Media Arts and LOOM
(http://www.hkrad.com/post/exhibitions/indexartists/parks.html), and is a
co-investigator in an international research initiative called the
Transcultural Geography Project (http://www.tc-geographies.net/index.html)
with colleagues from Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia and Turkey.
Her new book project is called Mixed Signals: Media Technologies and
- Jennifer Earl (jearl.soc.ucsb.edu):
Jennifer Earl is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of
California, Santa Barbara. Her research emphases include social movements
and the sociology of law. Within the study of social movements, she is
interested in the impact of the Internet on protest and social movements
and innovative forms of online protest, among other topics.
- Peg Suding (suding4inc.cox.net):
How identity is renegotiated across the lifespan via communicative interactions is what drew me to this
seminar. In particular, examining group participation from a lifespan perspective is of interest. In
other words, why, when, and how individuals decide to participate in new media groups, and how age might
affect these decisions are intriguing questions. Intergenerational communication highlights how age
stratified our society is becoming. Traditional media often compounds this issue by privileging certain
age groups while rendering other groups invisible, or by niche marketing. In traditional group
interaction, individuals select to participate for a whole host of reasons. I would argue that age is a
key variable in these decisions. It could be an interesting question to see how people select to
participate in new media environments when the prototypical age markers are not present.
- Jason Wither (jwither.cs.ucsb.edu):
One of the things that interests me most about the topic is how different
technologies are adopted by different groups (like sms messaging in japan
and europe, im by teenagers...) and why these technologies are adopted, if
some of them have more staying power than others, and how we can try to
predict what will be adopted next. Because of my research with Tobias I'm
perticularly interested in mobile / wearable / augmented reality devices,
and the direction the acceptence of those devices will go.
- Kelsey Woods (kelsknowsdance.umail.ucsb.edu):
The United Nations has hypothesized the alleviation of third world poverty
by the implementation of technical devises (cell phones, computers, etc.) into
socially poor environments. In theory, large corporations will profit both by
business created through participation of the working class in the world's
private sector, and by the (more) rapid dispersement of their products in highly
populated areas (such as India and China). I am interested in the new social
dynamic of a technologically proficient third world and am eager to explore
potential repercussions of this introduction with regard to a society's
culture and structural organization.
- Hangjin Zhang (hangjin.cs.ucsb.edu): My research interest is CSCL: Computer Supported Collaborative Learning.
There are two focuses: to create new educational technologies and to
assess the impact of them. Some specific questions closely related to
this seminar are: (1) How do classroom technologies impact students
learning? (2) With new technology available, how do users (students,
teachers and TAs) invent new cooperation/collaboration methods inside
and outside of the classroom?
- C. Silverstein, H. Marais, M. Henzinger and M. Moricz. Analysis of a very large web search engine query log. ACM SIGIR Forum, Vol. 33, 1999, Pages 6 -16. (suggested by Hangjin Zhang)
- B. Jansen, A. Spink and T. Saracevic. Real life, real users, and real needs - a study and analysis of user queries on the web. Information Processing and Management: an International Journal, Vol.
36, 2000, Pages 207 - 227. (suggested by Hangjin Zhang)
- Fernanda B. Viegas and Marc Smith, "Newsgroup Crowds and AuthorLines: Visualizing the Activity of Individuals in Conversational Cyberspaces" HICSS 2004. Taken from: http://research.microsoft.com/~masmith/ For the map itself see: http://research.microsoft.com/~masmith/all_map.jpg (Suggested by Lisa Parks)
- Smith, Marc, Duncan Davenport, Howard Hwa. "AURA: A mobile platform for object and location annotation", in Ubicomp 2003. (Suggested by Lisa Parks)
- Smith, Marc. "Some social implications of ubiquitous wireless networks" ACM Mobile Computing and Communications Review, April 200?, Vol.4 No. 2. (Suggested by Lisa Parks)
- Smith, Marc and Peter Kollock. Communities in Cyberspace, London: Routledge, 1998. (Suggested by Lisa Parks)
- Johnson, Stephen. Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software, NY: Scribner, 2002. (Suggested by Lisa Parks)
- Brown, John Seely and Paul Duguid, The Social Life of Information.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2002. (Suggested by Lisa Parks)
- Julian Dibbell, "A Rape in Cyberspace (or TINYSOCIETY, and How to Make One), first published in _Village Voice_, 1993, later reprinted in revised form in his _My Tiny Life_, 1998). Online at: http://www.juliandibbell.com/texts/bungle.html (Suggested by Alan Liu)
- This is the now classic work about a MOO (the famous LambdaMOO) that I
mentioned last week. It is explicitly about how a "society" forms and
learns to govern itself online. After "Mr. Bungle" commits a virtual rape,
how do the netizens of LambdaMOO, previously an anarchy presided over
distantly by the technical wizards responsible for the system, organize
themselves and decide what to do? And how to the wizards react? Together
with this reading, students should be asked to visit LambdaMOO (still going
strong) as a guest: telnet://lambda.moo.mud.org:8888/ Probably there should
also be some technical reading in the architecture of muds/moos.
- Howard Rheingold, _The Virtual Community_, Introduction and Chapter One:
http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/. (Suggested by Alan Liu)
- This is the predecessor to the Smart Mobs book that Bruce mentioned. The
book is about The Well, the classic BBS community in which Rheingold played
a founding role.
- Steven G. Jones, ed., _Cybersociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and
Community_ (Sage, 1995), esp. the articles by Margaret McLaughlin et al.
("Standards of Conduct on Usenet") and Richard MacKinnon ("Searching for the
Leviathan in Usenet"). (Suggested by Alan Liu)
- Jennings, M. Kent and Vicki Zeitner. Internet Use and Civic Engagement: A Longitudinal Analysis, Public Opinion Quarterly 67 (3), 2003, pp. 311-334. (Suggested by Bruce Bimber)
- An article based on a panel-design survey reporting statistical models that indicate Internet use
stimulates civic engagement (controlling for obvious confounding variables.)
- Katz, James E. and Ronald E. Rice. Social Consequences of Internet Use: Access, Involvement, and Interaction. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002), Chapters 6-8. (suggested by Bruce Bimber)
- An influential book that reports a variety of survey data on Internet use. The data is now several years
old, but the book provides a good foundation.
- Shah, Dhavan V., Nojin Kwak, and R. Lance Holbert. "Connecting and Disconnecting with Civic Life: Patterns of Internet Use and the Production of Social Capital," Political Communication 18 (2001), pp. 141-162. (suggested by Bruce Bimber)
- An article examining how Internet use affects social trust and civic engagement, using 2-stage
regression models to sort out the direction of causation.
- Neustadtl, Alan, and John P. Robinson, Social Contact Differences Between Internet Users and Nonusers in the General Social Survey,IT \& Society 1(1), 2002, pp. 73-102. Available at http://www.stanford.edu/group/siqss/itandsociety/v01i01/v01i01a06.pdf (Suggested by Bruce Bimber)
- An article reporting statistical models of sociability for Internet users and non-users.
- Bimber, Bruce. The Internet and Political Fragmentation. Paper prepared for presentation at the Democracy in the 21st Century Conference, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, October 25, 2004 and revised for publication. (Suggested by Bruce Bimber)
- A book-chapter-to-be examining the question whether new media tend to exert a fragmenting effect on
politics and community, with some historical background and a simple model for framing an answer to the
- Rheingold, Howard. Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books, 2003. (Suggested by Bruce Bimber)
- A non-technical, popular-audience book on mobile, ad hoc group formation.
- Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo. Linked (New York: Plume, 2002) (Suggested by Bruce Bimber)
- A popular book by a physicist explaining human systems governed by power-law structure and growth
(scale-free networks), with a special emphasis on the Internet.
- C.K. Prahalad, "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid" (Suggested by Kelsey Woods)
- United Nations Secretary General, "Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor" (Suggested by Kelsey Woods)
- Parks, L. "Kinetic Screens: Epistemologies of Movement at the
Interface," in MediaSpace: Place, Scale and Culture in a Media Age, eds.
Nick Couldry and Anna McCarthy, London: Routledge, 2003. (Suggested by Lisa Parks)
- Cuban, L. (2001). Oversold & Underused: Computers in the Classroom.
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. [Chapter 5 is
particularly interesting] (Suggested by Monica Bulger)
- Gee, J.P. (2003). What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and
Literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (Suggested by Monica Bulger)
- Mayer, R. (2001). Multi-media Learning. Cambridge, England: Cambridge
University Press. (Suggested by Monica Bulger)