There is the opportunity for a 3-years PhD scholarship at the University of Trento working with my group on Web2.0 and social networking at FBK. The specific project that is funding the scholarship is about collective building of memory, roughly speaking, about how a community can share and build their collective memory (based on old stories, photos, videos, …) and how Web2.0 tools can support the process. The idea is to offer a contract for around 8 months with the research institute I work on and, if we like each other, to start the PhD.
If you are interested please send me an email: massa AT fbk DOT eu (if I don’t reply, it is because your email ended up in spam, please try to find other ways to contact me).
Enterprise 2.0 has been widely recognized as a radical shift in the way organizations work. A mean for improving performance, reducing costs, moving towards an informal way of learning, supporting innovation and building engagement and motivation.
Collaborative, informal, emerging models â€“ wikis, blogs, social networks, tagging, prediction markets â€“ have been disseminating passion and a new mindset all over the world, opening up unexpected sources of competitive advantage. Innovation breaks down old paradigms and marks a path of change from: top-down to distributed approaches, from closed to open and interconnected models, from rigid control to flexibility and adaptivity, from a hierarchical to a starfish-like organization.
Saturday I participated in Sci(Bzaar)Net, an event organized by Gianandrea Giacoma (thanks Gian!) for discussing about how we can (in Italy) make use of the Internet for a better spreading, production and management of scientific knowledge.
There were around 40 people and 15 presentations of 10 minutes each plus 10 minutes discussion and, at the end, the global brainstorming.
My presentation was titled “Science2.0 or How happy is a researcher discovering the existence of Yet Another Social Network for Science?” and I was playing the devil’s advocate on why researchers didn’t embrace in mass Web2.0 tools for their daily activity. Actually I understood I had to speak for 20 minutes so I prepared the slides accordingly but then I was told it was only 10 minutes so I had to run a lot (speaking at double pace!), the alternative could have been just to present one slide every two but I choose the “speak very very fast” strategy. You can find my presentation on slideshare or embedded here below, I would be very happy to receive feedback! It is released under CC-BY-SA so feel free to reuse it.
One thing I noticed is that there were no professors and, since we like to think big, no University rectors! So I launch a contest: the first one who convinces a rector of an Italian University to open a blog gets a weekend in Trento, hosted by me, everything included! Can you handle that? Come on, go and find the blogging rector!
I didn’t follow too much the first presentations because I was finishing mine (my bad!). The first one I was able to follow was by Federico Bo and it was a very interesting survey about how Italian universities are using Web2.0 tools: touchscreens, webtv, blog aggregators, second life, e-catalunya, moodle, podcasting, social bookmarking, … Check the presentation by Federico.
Another interesting presentation was by Paolo Guglielmoni: “Culture as a virus” claiming that viral marketing and culture are not enemies, they never were in history and they are not now. He cited Booktrailers as a creative example of this. Still, how can I make my research into a viral meme is not an easy question.
The most amazing presentation was by Folletto who is a master in making visually impressive and semantically profound presentations, this one was titled “Paralipomeni dell’Oggettivazione Sociale” (Paralipomeni of Social Objectivism) and you can see it on slideshare.
It was great to meet again Bonaria, who is becoming an expert on library2.0 and Matteo Brunati who is trying to import the innocentive model in Italy with fullout and to meet a lot of interesting people I didn’t know yet. I also met David Orban, of openspime fame, which I managed to invite for a talk in Trento, probably on June 6th.
The final brainstorming was very interesting as well. Overall I think that, at least in Italy, for changing how researchers approach Web2.0 tools some push from the top is needed. It is not enough to have a push from the bottom (normal people like me and the other ones who met in Milan for sci.bzaar.net). Of course from the bottom we can try to show the light to people on top. For example I think the European Union now asks that every funded project must have a public Web page with its own domain, possibly a blog and surely a repository of produced documents and reports. It also somehow encourages to release the software as Free Software. This is a push from the top which, I think, is going to have a much higher impact than anything the sci.bzaarers can never achieve from the bottom.
Idea I see in my notes that I need to write down somewhere: write something about “the long tail of trust”.
Last thing I want to mention is the use of a human counter for signaling the passing by of time. On the back of the room, just in front of the speaker it was projected a previously recorded very big image of one of the guy (forgot the name!) Dario Violi with a red ball on top of it for every minute already passed. When the time limit was approaching, the face was becoming more and more sclerotic and when the 10 minutes were over, it was going totally mad and it was impossible for the speaker to keep speaking, it was too funny and disturbing. A very clever way to keep speaker in their time slot! I need to use it if/when I organize a conference!
Next Saturday (May 17th, 2008) I’ll be in Milan at the Politechnic School of Design for sci.bzaar.net.
With some friends of bzaar.net and few people I still don’t know, we will brainstorm and discuss about how Web2.0 dynamics can be adapted and imported into science. A sort of hybrid between a BarCamp, a traditional event and a Pecha Kucha, about science and research. Sweet!
The title of my talk will be “How much is a researcher happy discovering the existence of Yet Another Social Network for Science?”.
digg.com/spy ajaxy shows in real time every action happening on Digg: a user submitting a new story, a user voting for or against a story or commenting on it. Pretty impressive ongoing picture of a lively community (below iframed for your convenience, shoot an eye while reading the rest).
I use this web page fullscreen before my presentations about anything2.0 (you know, the “let’s wait few more minutes” period in which the organizers hope 5 additional people’ll show up somehow doubling your audience). I think it unconsciusly introduce many of the memes that will percolate through the presentation (user participation, wisdom of the crowds, …)
I kinda remember someone called digg.com/spy “democracy in action”, I would not disturb a concept such as democracy for this but surely it is a rare example of transparency which surely contributes to making the system less of a black box.
You find it at http://build.last.fm/. Awesome!
The following (sociomap) is just one of the many example, most of the others are mashups with video and other information services, and various badges.
Also I’m looking for a web mashups that is able to let me see guitar chords of the songs I watch on youtube or listen on last.fm and possibly automatically tune them based on the tune of the song and possibly automatically scroll them based on the played audio.
Something similar, again from the previous list, is letsplayukulele.com but I play for fun, guitar and not ukulele. Anything similar for guitar chords?
Google wants to create an easy way for developers to create an application that works on all social networks. And if they pull it off, theyâ€™ll be in the center, controlling the network.
Great comment by Alex to the post:
On the other hand ALL the social networking sites will now have to open up otherwise they will lose members.
What Google proposed is, I guess since the details will be revealed tomorrow, a simple API with a minimal set of methods, something that thousands of entities (programmers, startups, companies) could have done in a similar way. The challenge is not too much technical. The challenge is social: if Google proposes an OpenSocial API, it will get adopted in seconds, if some unknown entity propose the very same API, nobody will notice it. What is happening is that Google is quickly becoming the globally recognized entity in charge or defining the evolution of the Web: Google is quickly taking the role of W3C that, according to Wikipedia, is “the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or W3).”
Brad Fitzpatrick’s Thoughts on the Social Graph few weeks ago ignited a spark in the blogosphere. The quest for a simple, neutral protocol for portability of your data (and relationships) and identity management is nothing new. Brad is able to explain the need clearly and he got a lot of attention because he is highly respected for having created very useful Free Software, for example LiveJournal software, and this is good. The mailing list he started for discussing this attracted a lot of minds in few days. Brad puts it like this:
There are an increasing number of new “social applications” as well as traditional application which either require the “social graph” or that could provide better value to users by utilizing information in the social graph. What I mean by “social graph” is a the global mapping of everybody and how they’re related, as Wikipedia describes and I talk about in more detail later. Unfortunately, there doesn’t exist a single social graph (or even multiple which interoperate) that’s comprehensive and decentralized. Rather, there exists hundreds of disperse social graphs, most of dubious quality and many of them walled gardens.
At Plaxo, we believe strongly that users should have ownership, control, and portability of their profiles and friends list. No service you use should claim your data as their own and keep it trapped in their “walled garden”. We will continue to publish tools and articles here and on our blog to empower users and support a truly open social web.
An important aspect of the open social graph is being able to declare the different sites you use and tie them together. The easiest way to tell peopleâ€”and computersâ€”about the sites you use is to link from your home page, blog, and profile pages to the other sites you use. If you add rel=”me” to the link tag, it says “this is another site about me”. Many sites already do this, and services like wordpress make it easy to annotate your links like this.
Plaxo’s Online Identity Consolidatorâ€”which you can use here or download the source code and use yourselfâ€”starts with one of your web sites and crawls all the rel=”me” links to find the other web pages you want people to know about.
Terrific course by Trebor Scholz which I would terribly like to attend.
Since it is released under a Creative Commons License ByAttribution/ShareAlike 2.5 and this blog as well, I’m legally allowed to redistribute the content on this blog and this is precisely what I’m going to do in the following. Try to attend the course, discussing for an entire courses about these topics should be an amazing experience!
Kluge, Alexander, Peter Labanyi, and Oskar Negt. Public Sphere and Experience: Toward an Analysis of the Bourgeois and Proletarian Public Sphere (Theory and History of Literature). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.
• Week 11 (11/06, 11/08) Motivations for Participation
Questions: What motivates people on the Social Web to engage? Required Reading: Gefen, David, and Catherine M. Ridings. " Virtual Community Attraction:Why People Hang Out Online." Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 1 Nov 2004. 31 Jul 2007 <http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol10/issue1/ridings_gefen.html#s2>.
• Week 12 (11/13, 11/15) The Ethics of Participation. Got ethics? Labor, what? (The production of value on the Social Web)
Questions: What are ethical standards on both, the side of the users and the corporate platform providers?
What’s the difference between moralistic posturing and discussions about context-specific ethics?
Does talk about ethics mean that we can’t have any more fun?
Do the activities on the Social Web qualify as immaterial labor?
Rauch, Peter. "Confessions of an Aca/Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins: Fable and Other Moral Tales: A Study in Game Ethics (Part One)." Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins. 1 Aug 2007. 26 Aug 2007 <http://www.henryjenkins.org/2007/08/games_and_ethics.html>.
• Week 13 (11/20, 11/22) Fields of Possibilities
Questions: What are the core characteristics of the Social Web?
How can networked publics fight back? Today, is it practical to live ethical lives in the context of the Social Web and mobile social space? If so, tactics could be learned and shared with others. Required Reading: Jarvis, Jeff. "New News: Deconstructing the newspaper." BuzzMachine . 18 Jan 2006. 26 Aug 2007 <http://www.buzzmachine.com/2006/01/18/new-news-deconstructing-the-newspaper/>.
• Week 14 (11/27, 11/29) The Future of the Social Web
Cascio, Jamais. "WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: The Rise of the Participatory Panopticon." WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future. 4 May 2005. 12 Jul 2007 <http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/002651.html>.