Microsoft Research's Social Computing Symposium 2013


The theme for Microsoft Research's Social Computing Symposium 2013 was on:

"populations and topics we forget to discuss, often hiding in plain sight."

They have published recordings of almost all the sessions. While, I haven't watched all the recordings, these two stand out for me so far:

Who’s not on Social Media by Zeynep Tufekci

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We spend a lot of time thinking about the people who are using social media, but its important to consider those who aren't and why. Its not just about the digital divide between young and old, rich and poor.

Why do Comments Suck by Clay Shirky

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Incidentally, Shirky's points about the quality of comments reminds me very much of Cliff Figallo's model in Hosting Web Communities where he talks about understanding online communities in three dimensions:

  1. Interactivity
  1. Focus (or "clear purpose")
  1. Cohesion (or "common community")

Large or popular heterogeneous social media channels, like YouTube and newspapers sites, offer interactivity but lack focus and cohesion. Its no surprise that the comments are bad on YouTube, which is why I've also been a little dubious of using it for online engagement except as a social content delivery medium for video.

BTW I think the player requires SilverLight. If you have trouble watching these videos, the slides and video files are available for download from the source website.