RAA#4: Social Discovery

1. APA Citation

Shneiderman, B. (2011). Social discovery in an information abundant world: Designing to create capacity and seek solutions. Information Services and Use, 31(1), 3–13. PDF

2. Definition:

Social Discovery: the collaborative processes that promote creating capabilities and seeking solutions. “In its most ambitious form social discovery is the detection of new and important relationships, patterns or principles that advance disciplines and make valuable contributions to society.”

3. Purpose

Propose a framework of design of search tools that support social discovery.

4. Methods

Based on previous theories of information seeking, work in CSCW and the Reader-to-Leader framework of social participation.

Figuire1. The Reader-to-Leader framework suggests that the typical path for social media participation moves from reading online content to making contributions, initially small edits, but growing into more substantive contributions. The user-gen- erated content can be edits to a wiki, comments in a discussion group, ratings of movies, photos, music, animations or videos. Collaborators work together over periods of weeks or months to make more substantial contributions, and leaders act to set policies, deal with problems, and mentor new users.

5. Main Findings

(1) The shift of searching tools: specific fact-finding–> open-ended exploratory search –> social discovery (collaboration in creating capabilities and seeking solutions)

(2) The Social Discovery framework. “The social discovery concept extends the ideas from the creativity and discovery support tools based on information visualization, team coordination and design tools.” It emphasize not only the information seeking, but also participation and creativity. “Valuable contributions also come from those who tag, taxonomize, comment, annotate, rank, rate, review and summarize.”

Figure 2. The Social Discovery framework describes the two stages of work: creating capacity and seeking solutions. These are carried out by a dialog between those who initiate requests and those who provide responses over a period of weeks and months.

5. Analysis: This is a theory paper from a computer scientist. Ben Sheinderman is a big figure in HCI and Information Visualization. He advocates the revolution of science to science 2.0 to really consider real social problems utilizing the web. This is a framework or guideline on design of computation tools that better support human and their social interaction in the processing of searching for knowledge. It is set to “promote thinking about and conducting research into the mechanisms that facilitate social discovery”. It mentions that “the implications are profound for academic, industrial and government researchers, since they force re-consideration of reward structures, especially for creating capabilities, which deserve more recognition in tenure or promotion reviews.” I am excited to see a big figure in computer science really embraces the idea of social media to do good for our humanity, and admire a lot of his thoughts and insight.

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