Technology Mediated Social Participation 
U.S. National Science Foundation sponsored workshops  U.S National Science Foundation
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Civic Application of Technology-Mediated Social Participation

 Thursday, April 22 2010, 4:00-5:00pm, Hilton Ballston, VA

This panel will address the unique needs of government agencies and related organizations in developing civic applications of technology-mediated social/civic participation. Policy makers will need to decide about how to use social networking tools (such as Facebook), blogs and microblogs (Twitter), user-generated content sites (YouTube), discussion groups, problem reporting, recommendation systems, and other social media.  These technologies could have a powerful impact on national priorities such as health, energy, education, disaster response, environmental protection, innovation, cultural heritage, conflict resolution, and community safety.  Open government initiatives will also benefit from effective use of social media technologies.  While the potential payoffs are large, substantial research is needed to scale up early successes, raise motivation, control malicious attacks, limit misguided rumors, ensure accessibility, promote universal usability, and protect privacy.

Clearly stated research challenges should have three key elements:
1. Close linkage to compelling national priorities
2. Scientific foundation based on established theories and well-defined research questions (privacy, reciprocity, trust, motivation, recognition, etc.), and
3. Computer science research challenges (security, privacy protection, scalability, visualization, end-user development, distributed data handling for massive user-generated content, network analysis of community evolution, cross network comparison, etc.).

Potential short-term interventions include:
1. Universities changing course content, add courses, and offering new degree programs;
2. Industry helping researchers by providing access to data and platforms for testing; and
3. Government agencies applying these strategies in pilot studies related to national priorities.

  Jennifer Preece, Moderator
  Ben Shneiderman, Statement of Goals
  Peter Pirolli, Report on West Coast Workshop

  David W. McDonald, NSF: Social Computational Systems Program
  Brad Hesse, NIH: Healthcare/Wellness Applications of Social Media
  Cynthia Parr, Smithsonian: Encyclopedia of Life

Hilton Arlington Hotel, near Ballston, VA  Metro stop
950 North Stafford Street
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 528-6000



University of Maryland iSchool Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information HCIL PARC