Beyond Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researchers, scientists from diverse fields such as Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), WWW research, Hypertext, Digital Libraries conferences are feeling the impact of Social Web systems and are publishing research papers that characterize, model, prototype, and evaluate such systems.
Moreover, studies from behavioral microeconomics, organizational economics, sociology, ethnography, social network analysis, information flow analysis, political science, and conflict resolution are potentially relevant to Social Web researchers. Researchers are seeing a surge of new research on Web2.0 technologies distributed in a wide variety of disciplines and associated conferences.
Here is a figure that describes a way to think about these systems. Going from the left to right is going from light-weight to heavy-weight collaboration systems. Various social systems are laid out on a collaboration spectrum. Some are heavyweight collaboration systems that require users to coordinate and resolve conflicts with each other, while other systems are collective averaging systems in which users simply vote on items of interest.
To sum it up, Web2.0 isn’t just a fad, but a fundamental transformation of the Web into a true collaborative and social platform. The research opportunity is to fully understand how to enhance the ability of a group of people to remember, think, and reason.
Good article. It's true about all the new research being done on Web 2.0. I am on a team of researchers working on building a social networking game web app that will help us analyze social interactions between Computer Science students and help the students be more interactive. This is a big job from an HCI standpoint so we are collaborating between our HCI Lab and our Game Lab on this. Our web app would be somewhere in between Lightweight and Heavyweight Collaboration because we use Tag network analysis heavily. It's good to see articles that reflect my research so closely.
@Marvin: The desire to interact more is innate, so the rise of the social web is not surprising, but its speed is what was amazing. Helping computer science students to interact more will help them understand this very important trend in computing.
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