Articles tagged with: Fb4Sci
I have a distinct tendency to see everything through the lens of what it means for research communities. I have just finally read Danah Boyd’s It’s Complicated a book that focuses on how and why U.S. teenagers interact with and through social media. The book is well worth reading for the study itself, but I would argue it is more worth reading for the way it challenges many of the assumptions we make about how social interactions online and how they are mediated by technology.
The main thrust of Boyd’s argument is …
The rationale behind open approaches is the way it enables you to make unexpected connections and to find otherwise hidden shortcuts. People, data, code, and expertise can be more effectively connected when the information is out there and discoverable. Here I wanted to document a little collaboration that was sparked on twitter and carried through using an entirely open toolset.
If you’ve been around either myself or Deepak Singh you will almost certainly have heard the Jeff Jonas/Jon Udell soundbite: ‘Data finds data. Then people find people’. The naïve analysis of the success of consumer social networks and the weaknesses of science communication has lead to efforts that almost precisely invert the Jonas/Udell concept. In the case of most of these “Facebooks for Scientists” the idea is that people find people, and then they connect with data through those people. But what if we built social networks for data, where they could interact, find neighbours, and play games amongst themselves?
A number of things recently have lead me to reflect on the nature of interactions between social media, research organisations and the wider community. What the first decade of the social web has taught us is that organisations that effectively harness the goodwill of their staff or members using social media tools do well. This approach is antithetical to traditional command and control management structures. It implies a fluidity and a lack of direct control over people’s time. What it does do though is map very well onto a rather traditional view of how the academy is “managed”. Academics provide a limited resource, their time, and apply it to a large extent in a way determined by what they think is important. What might happen if an academic institution effectively harnessed social media as a management tool and what are the barriers to making that happen?
Image by cameronneylon via Flickr
This post, while only 48 hours old is somewhat outdated by these two Friendfeed discussions. This was written independently of those discussions so it seemed worth putting out in its original form rather than spending too much time rewriting.
I wrote recently about Sciencefeed, a Friendfeed like system aimed at scientists and was fairly critical. I also promised to write about what I thought a “Friendfeed for Researchers” should look like. To look at this we need to think about what Friendfeed, and other services including Twitter, …
Nat Torkington, picking up on my post over the weekend about the CRU emails takes a slant which has helped me figure out how to write this post which I was struggling with. He says:
[from my post…my concern is that in a kneejerk response to suddenly make things available no-one will think to put in place the social and technical infrastructure that we need to support positive engagement, and to protect active researchers, both professional and amateur from time-wasters.] Sounds like an open science call for social software, though I’m not convinced it’s …
I’ve avoided writing about the Climate Research Unit emails leak for a number of reasons. Firstly it is clearly a sensitive issue with personal ramifications for some and for many others just a very highly charged issue. Probably more importantly I simply haven’t had the time or energy to look into the documents myself. I haven’t, as it were, examined the raw data for myself, only other people’s interpretations. So I’ll try to stick to a very general issue here.
There are appear to be broadly two responses from the research …
…is that someone needs to make money out of them. It was inevitable at some point that Friendfeed would take a route that lead it towards mass adoption and away from the needs of the (rather small) community of researchers that have found a niche that works well for them. I had thought it more likely that Friendfeed would gradually move away from the aspects that researchers found attractive rather than being absorbed wholesale by a bigger player but then I don’t know much about how Silicon Valley really works. …