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GROUP'12: International Conference on Supporting Group Work

Fullname:Proceedings of the 17th ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work
Editors:Thomas A. Finholt; Hilda Tellioğlu; Kori Inkpen; Tom Gross
Location:Sanibel Island, Florida
Dates:2012-Oct-27 to 2012-Oct-31
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-1486-2; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: GROUP12
Papers:53
Pages:330
Links:Conference Website
Summary:It is our great pleasure to welcome you to the 2012 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work -- GROUP'12. This is the 17th gathering in this influential international conference series which despite sporadic name changes -- from Organizational Information Systems, to Organizational Computing Systems, to Group -- remains focused on the challenges of evaluating and developing socio-technical systems to support collaborative work among individuals, within and across groups, organizations, and geo-political boundaries. We find ourselves again on lovely Sanibel Island, Florida. We are very pleased with the commitment to GROUP by our colleagues who have generously contributed their time and effort to organize the conference, review papers, lead the Doctoral Colloquium, convene workshops, chair sessions, and be student volunteers. The conference would not be possible without their efforts.
    The GROUP'12 call for papers attracted 94 submissions (64 papers and 30 notes) from Asia, Latin America, Europe, and North America. The program committee accepted 24 papers and 11 notes covering a wide variety of topics including: awareness and avatars - visualizing speech, workflow and identity; understanding collaboration in organizations; citizen science and healthcare - real world communities; collaborative systems and group editing; cross-cultural chat, file sync and realtime dating; behavior patterns in online communities; understanding information in social media; and methods for understanding and supporting online communities. In addition to two preconference workshops, we are able to host our fourth Doctoral Colloquium. Generous funding from the National Science Foundation allows us to bring together advanced Ph.D. students from around the world for a full-day program of interaction with leading researchers in our field. During the poster session you will be able to see what these students are working on, and you will also find posters from other researchers in academia and industry.
  1. Awareness & avatars -- visualizing speech, workflow & identity
  2. Understanding collaboration in organizations
  3. Citizen science & healthcare -- real world communities
  4. Collaborative systems & group editing
  5. *Best of group* backchannels, cross-cultural chat, file sync & real-time dating
  6. Behaviour patterns in online communities
  7. Understanding information in social media
  8. Methods for understanding & supporting online communities
  9. Doctoral colloquium
  10. Poster
  11. Workshops

Awareness & avatars -- visualizing speech, workflow & identity

Can a table regulate participation in top level managers' meetings? BIBAFull-Text 1-10
  Flaviu Roman; Stefano Mastrogiacomo; Dyna Mlotkowski; Frédéric Kaplan; Pierre Dillenbourg
We present a longitudinal study on the participation regulation effects in the presence of a speech aware interactive table. This study focuses on training meetings of groups of top level managers, whose compositions do not change, in a corporate organization. We show that an effect of balancing participation develops over time. We also report other emerging group-specific features such as interaction patterns and signatures, leadership effects, and behavioral changes between meetings. Finally we collect feedback from the participants and analyze qualitatively the human and social aspects of the participants interaction mediated by the technology.
Visualizing history to improve users' location and comprehension of collaborative work BIBAFull-Text 11-20
  DoHyoung Kim; Frank M., III Shipman
Many applications place users into collaborations with unknown and distant partners. Collaboration between participants in such environments is more efficient if individuals can identify and understand the contributions of others. A traditional approach to supporting such understanding within the CSCW community is to record user activity for later access. Issues with this approach include difficulties in locating activity of interest in large tasks and that history is often recorded at a system-activity level instead of at a human-activity level. To address these issues, this paper introduces CoActIVE, a history mechanism that clusters records of user activity and extracts keywords from manipulated content in an attempt to provide a human-level representation of history. Multiple visualization techniques' based on this processing were compared in their ability to improve users' location and comprehension of the activity of others. The results show the combination of clustering low level history events into activity segments and new visualizations summarizing activity within a segment result in a significant improvement over prior interfaces.
Controlling an avatar's pointing gestures in desktop collaborative virtual environments BIBAFull-Text 21-30
  Nelson Wong; Carl Gutwin
Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs) allow people to interact with each other in virtual worlds through computer-generated avatars. Avatars are much less expressive than real bodies, and one main limitation is their lack of support for non-verbal communication such as pointing gestures. Part of the problem is that these gestures must be created through an input device, but the user is already busy controlling the avatar's location, rotation, and view direction. Pointing gestures are only useful for collaborative communication if they can be controlled simultaneously with all other avatar actions. To determine whether there are input configurations that make pointing gestures feasible, we carried out a study that compared five different widely-available input devices in three non-verbal communication tasks. We found that users were able to successfully incorporate pointing gestures into tasks that already involved moving, turning, and looking, but that there were significant and substantial differences between devices. Two configurations performed best: a mode-switched version of standard mouse-and-keyboard control, and a direct-pointing scheme using a Wii remote. There were also minor effects of gender and video-game experience. Our study suggests that users will be able to successfully create free pointing gestures in CVEs, greatly improving the communicative richness of these environments.
To see or not to see: a study comparing four-way avatar, video, and audio conferencing for work BIBAFull-Text 31-34
  Sasa Junuzovic; Kori Inkpen; John Tang; Mara Sedlins; Kristie Fisher
We conducted a study comparing avatar conferencing with video and audio conferencing for work scenarios. We studied nine four-person teams using a within-subjects design that measured users' perceptions and preferences across the conferencing conditions. Video was rated highest in all measures. Avatar and Audio were rated similarly, except for sociability, where Avatar was rated higher than Audio, and realism, where Avatar was rated lower than Audio. While users appreciated how avatar conferencing brought them together in a common virtual space, they found the cartoon avatars to be inappropriate for a professional discussion. As a result, participants preferred Video the most and Avatar the least for a business meeting. Lower ratings for the avatar condition were partly due to users' frustrations when the avatar system did not track them perfectly. When assuming a "perfect" system, preference for Avatar increased significantly while preference for Audio and Video remained unchanged.

Understanding collaboration in organizations

The sociality of fieldwork: designing for social science research practice and collaboration BIBAFull-Text 35-44
  Louise Barkhuus; Barry Brown
Supporting scientific practice has been a longstanding goal of CSCW research. This paper explores how we might design for social science research practices and collaboration. Drawing on sixteen interviews with fieldwork-based social scientists we document the importance of small-scale long-term collaborative arrangements for research and intellectual work -- pairs of researchers who work together in-depth over their careers, developing a common yet distinctive view of their research field. This contrasts with the large-scale short-lived collaborations that have classically been the target of cyber-infrastructure work. We describe technology practices among social scientists and how these can inform technology design for fieldwork practices.
Human infrastructure as process and effect: its impact on individual scientists' participation in international collaboration BIBAFull-Text 45-54
  Airong Luo; Margaret Ann Murphy; Ted Hanss
We adopt the concept of human infrastructure as our analytic lens to examine two high energy physics collaborations. Our analysis goes beyond the macro level of virtual organizations to include the human infrastructures in scientists' home institutions and personal networks. While previous literature tends to focus on the macro level of analysis of management and coordination within virtual organizations, our study concentrates on individual scientists, especially junior scientists' gains and challenges when participating in international collaboration. We compare the experiences of scientists from lesser-resourced and well-resourced nations to examine how specific components of basic social structures enable or impede individual scientists' participation in international collaboration. Identifying the social mechanisms that constrain scientists will enable us to better understand how to build human infrastructure to facilitate individual scientists' participation in collaboration.
Collaborative reflection at work: supporting informal learning at a healthcare workplace BIBAFull-Text 55-64
  Michael Prilla; Martin Degeling; Thomas Herrmann
Reflection is a common means to improve work: Every day, people think back to past work and -- oftentimes in a group -- try to find out whether they can improve it or whether they can derive better practices from it. However, especially collaborative reflection is neglected in research and design and consequently, there are hardly any insights on how it takes place in the practice of daily work and how tools can support it. To shed light on these questions, this paper presents a case that has been analyzed in a hospital as part of a series of studies on collaborative reflection in practice. Focusing this case and backing it with the other studies, the paper presents peculiarities and needs of collaborative reflection in healthcare workplaces as well as a more general formalization of collaborative reflection characteristics. Based on these results, an application to support physicians in their reflection was prototyped and tested. The presented results primarily apply to healthcare workplaces, but also cover general findings for the support of collaborative reflection.
Newcomer integration and learning in technical support communities for open source software BIBAFull-Text 65-74
  Vandana Singh
In this paper we present results of an NSF funded project on exploring and understanding cyber learning that happens in online open source software (OSS) communities for technical support. We look across multiple OSS support communities (Firefox, Java, and Koha) to understand the behavior of newcomers in these communities, the role that the community response plays in their continued participation and newcomer best practices. We found that newcomers are not a homogenous group and majority of them display "model" behavior. We also found out that community response is critical for continued participation of newcomers. In our dataset, almost all non returning newcomers can be attributed to receiving no reply or a condescending reply from the community. We found that one third of newcomers' transition into a role of help givers in the community and demonstrate evidence of learning. We also highlight best practices for newcomers to be successful in these online communities.

Citizen science & healthcare -- real world communities

Purposeful gaming & socio-computational systems: a citizen science design case BIBAFull-Text 75-84
  Nathan Prestopnik; Kevin Crowston
Citizen science is a form of social computation where members of the public are recruited to contribute to scientific investigations. Citizen-science projects often use web-based systems to support collaborative scientific activities, making them a form of computer-supported cooperative work. However, finding ways to attract participants and confirm the veracity of the data they produce are key issues in making such systems successful. We describe a series of web-based tools and games currently under development to support taxonomic classification of organisms in photographs collected by citizen-science projects. In the design science tradition, the systems are purpose-built to test hypotheses about participant motivation and techniques for ensuring data quality. Findings from preliminary evaluation and the design process itself are discussed.
Location-based crowdsourcing of hyperlocal news: dimensions of participation preferences BIBAFull-Text 85-94
  Heli Väätäjä; Teija Vainio; Esa Sirkkunen
We studied the mobile users' preferences and concerns of using location-based assignments (LBA) and geotagging in crowdsourced news making. First, nine readers who had submitted reader's photos were interviewed about their perceptions of LBA and geotagging scenarios. Second, a quasi-experiment in field conditions was carried out with nineteen participants. After completing four LBA tasks with a mobile phone, participants were interviewed on their perceptions and asked to complete a questionnaire on their preferences for receiving LBA and usage of geotags. Findings indicate that the perceived benefits of LBA and geotagging are greater than the perceived risks. The task type, temporal context, preciseness of location query, proximity to the reporting location, parallel tasks, social context and incentives affected the participation preferences. We propose a framework for participation preferences to support further studies in location-based crowdsourcing and in the development of crowdsourcing processes and systems.
Designing an authoring environment for community-created virtual heritage environments: experiences with the geografia platform BIBAFull-Text 95-98
  Pedro Silva
The melding of geographic data and traditional storytelling methods demonstrates great potential for educators across the social sciences. However, despite the drive toward web 2.0 technologies, authoring a location-based narrative for mobile platforms remains a high-barrier proposition difficult to crowd source. Geografia is an authoring tool that gives communities the power to create a virtual heritage environment detailing their town's history. This paper discusses the design of the Geografia platform and the implications raised from its first deployment in which approximately 80 secondary school students collaborated to form a geo-narrative of an event in their community's history.
Decision making tasks in time-critical medical settings BIBAFull-Text 99-102
  Aleksandra Sarcevic; Zhan Zhang; Diana S. Kusunoki
We examine decision-making tasks and information sources during fast-paced, high-risk medical events, such as trauma resuscitation. Interviews with surgical team leaders and ED physicians reveal several environmental aspects that make decision making difficult, including diagnostic tradeoffs, missing and unreliable information, and managing multiple patients simultaneously. We discuss the implications of these findings for the design of wall displays to support decision making in time-critical medical settings.
Eating alone, together: new forms of commensality BIBAFull-Text 103-106
  Catherine Grevet; Anthony Tang; Elizabeth Mynatt
Eating with others, or commensality, is an enjoyable activity that serves many important social functions; however, many individuals eat meals alone due to life circumstances, meaning that they miss out on these social benefits. We developed and deployed a simple technology probe providing social awareness around mealtimes to explore how social systems might help alleviate the loneliness of solitary dining. Our findings suggest that these systems can convey a sense of connectedness around a meal; further, our analysis revealed three themes relevant to systems of this type: that contextually-located peripheral awareness engenders connectedness; that such tools can foster a feeling of shared social presence, and that they can be a catalyst for other forms of communication around the meal. These findings suggest that "remote commensality" is not only possible, but that it may take on forms entirely different to that which we are accustomed.

Collaborative systems & group editing

ATCoPE: any-time collaborative programming environment for seamless integration of real-time and non-real-time teamwork in software development BIBAFull-Text 107-116
  Hongfei Fan; Chengzheng Sun; Haifeng Shen
Real-time collaborative programming and non-real-time collaborative programming are two classes of methods and techniques for supporting programmers to jointly conduct complex programming work in software development. They are complementary to each other, and both are useful and effective under different programming circumstances. However, most existing programming tools and environments have been designed for supporting only one of them, and little has been done to provide integrated support for both. In this paper, we contribute a novel Any-Time Collaborative Programming Environment (ATCoPE) to seamlessly integrate conventional non-real-time collaborative programming tools and environments with emerging real-time collaborative programming techniques and support collaborating programmers to work in and flexibly switch among different collaboration modes according to their needs. We present the general design objectives for ATCoPE, the system architecture, functional design and specifications, rationales beyond design decisions, and major technical issues and solutions in detail, as well as a proof-of-concept implementation of the ATCoEclipse prototype system.
Decentralized documents authoring system for decentralized teamwork: matching architecture with organizational structure BIBAFull-Text 117-120
  Frédéric Merle; Aurélien Bénel; Guillaume Doyen; Dominique Gaïti
While systems for collaborative distributed works focus on enhancing distributed work group productivity, little attention has been paid to their architecture. In fact, most of these systems rely on centralized ones for both user communications and data hosting. These architectures raise issues about the administrative control, maintenance and management of the central entity. In this paper, we present a new architecture based on peer-to-peer (P2P) model driven by user relationship. In our architecture, users choose the trusted co-workers they are connected with. Thus, only the most trusted users manage to obtain a high number of connections which grant them a relative authority inside the system.
Adaptive forward error correction for real-time groupware BIBAFull-Text 121-130
  Jeff Dyck; Carl Gutwin; Dwight Makaroff
Real-time distributed groupware sends several kinds of messages with varying quality-of-service requirements. However, standard network protocols do not provide the flexibility needed to support these different requirements (either providing too much reliability or too little), leading to poor performance on real-world networks. To address this problem, we investigated the use of an application-level networking technique called adaptive forward error correction (AFEC) for real-time groupware. AFEC can maintain a predefined level of reliability while avoiding the overhead of packet acknowledgement or retransmission. We analysed the requirements of typical real-time groupware systems and developed an AFEC technique to meet these needs. We tested the new technique in an experiment that measured message reliability and latency using TCP, plain UDP, UDP with non-adaptive FEC, and UDP with our AFEC scheme, under several simulated network conditions. Our results show that for awareness messages that can tolerate some loss, FEC approaches keep latency at nearly the plain-UDP level while dramatically improving reliability. In addition, adaptive FEC is the only technique that can maintain a specified level of reliability and also minimize delay as network conditions change. Our study shows that groupware AFEC can be a useful tool for improving the real-world performance and usability of real-time groupware.
Authenticating operation-based history in collaborative systems BIBAFull-Text 131-140
  Hien Thi Thu Truong; Claudia-Lavinia Ignat; Pascal Molli
Within last years multi-synchronous collaborative editing systems became widely used. Multi-synchronous collaboration maintains multiple, simultaneous streams of activity which continually diverge and synchronized. These streams of activity are represented by means of logs of operations, i.e. user modifications. A malicious user might tamper his log of operations. At the moment of synchronization with other streams, the tampered log might generate wrong results. In this paper, we propose a solution relying on hash-chain based authenticators for authenticating logs that ensure the authenticity, the integrity of logs, and the user accountability. We present algorithms to construct authenticators and verify logs. We prove their correctness and provide theoretical and practical evaluations.
A string-wise CRDT for group editing BIBAFull-Text 141-144
  Weihai Yu
Real-time group editing has been envisioned as an important application for group collaboration. Operational transformation (OT) has been the concurrency control mechanism for group editing, due to its potential for high responsiveness to local editing operations. OT algorithms are generally very sophisticated and computation intensive. Recently, commutative replicated data types (CRDT) have appeared as viable substitutes of OT. Existing OT and CRDT work suffers from serious limitations. This note presents a CRDT that addresses some of these limitations.

*Best of group* backchannels, cross-cultural chat, file sync & real-time dating

At a different tempo: what goes wrong in online cross-cultural group chat? BIBAFull-Text 145-154
  Na Li; Mary Beth Rosson
Cross-cultural communication has become increasingly prevalent in organizations and education systems. Such communication often takes place in a distributed fashion, and many studies have examined the impact of computer-mediated communication (CMC) on distributed cross-cultural groups. For example the literature points to cultural factors that could cause communication failures, such as individualism vs. collectivism, high context vs. low context, and power distance. We contend that language proficiency, a basic and fundamental difference between people from English speaking countries and other countries, is often neglected by researchers. Therefore, we have begun a detailed investigation of cross-cultural group chat. We chose text chat as a target technology because previous studies reported it as non-native speakers' preferred choice for CMC. Our study revealed that language proficiency played a pivotal role in cross-cultural group chat. When people conversed at different levels of proficiency, turn taking was severely disrupted, causing confusion and neglect of discussion points. We also found that some native speakers hold back ideas to accommodate the non-fluency of non-native speakers, slowing down the group process and outcomes. Working from these findings, we discuss possible designs that could assist both non-native and native speakers in cross-cultural group chat.
Augmenting classroom participation through public digital backchannels BIBAFull-Text 155-164
  Honglu Du; Mary Beth Rosson; John M. Carroll
An emerging trend in classroom technology research is the use of computer mediated communication (CMC) tools in classrooms to encourage students' in-class participation. As part of this research thread, we have been investigating the potential of public digital backchannels for building feelings of community among students in university courses. We designed, deployed and evaluated such a tool in a 15-week field study of two undergraduate classes. We found students found using public backchannel during the class is of little distraction, that teachers' attention to the content posted on the channel influence students' tendency to use tools of this kind. Further, we found that the relevance of the content shared is predictive of students' use of ClasCommons in the classroom; these feelings in turn are related to students' perceptions of self-efficacy, collective efficacy and course-specific social support. We also analyzed the content posted in the public backchannel and considered the benefits and drawbacks of the public digital from both students' and teachers' perspectives. We conclude with suggestions for improving the design and deployment of course-related backchannels.
Supporting research collaboration through bi-level file synchronization BIBAFull-Text 165-174
  Catherine C. Marshall; Ted Wobber; Venugopalan Ramasubramanian; Douglas B. Terry
In this paper, we describe the design and use of Cimetric, a file synchronization application that supports scholarly collaboration. The system design incorporates results of earlier studies that suggest replicating content on a user's personal devices may have different characteristics than replicating content to share it with collaborators. To realize this distinction, Cimetric performs bi-level synchronization: it synchronizes local copies of a versioned repository among collaborators' computers, while it separately synchronizes private working files between each user's personal devices. Through a year's worth of in-house use of Cimetric in a variety of configurations, we were able to investigate key file synchronization issues, including the role of cloud storage given the ability to sync between peers; the strengths and weaknesses of a bi-level design; and which aspects of the synchronization process to reveal to users.
Disclosure, ambiguity and risk reduction in real-time dating sites BIBAFull-Text 175-178
  Mark J. Handel; Irina Shklovski
While social network capabilities are proliferating on many online services, research has focused on just a few popular social network sites. In this note, we consider a different kind of social network site, explicitly designed to support particular types of risky sexual activity among men who have sex with men (MSM). We consider the role of ambiguity built into the interface in how users manage self-disclosure and its association with articulating more friends-only or sexual connections on the site. Despite the site's explicit orientation toward risky sexual practices, we find indications that users mitigate potential public health issues through the practice of sero-sorting. We discuss how design considerations that may allow for easier entrance into a community can cause problems for long-term users, or generate potential public health issues.

Behaviour patterns in online communities

Understanding participant behavior trajectories in online health support groups using automatic extraction methods BIBAFull-Text 179-188
  Miaomiao Wen; Carolyn Penstein Rose
This paper presents an automatic analysis method that enables efficient examination of participant behavior trajectories in online communities, which offers the opportunity to examine behavior over time at a level of granularity that has previously only been possible in small scale case study analyses. We provide an empirical validation of its performance. We then illustrate how this method offers insights into behavior patterns that enable avoiding faulty oversimplified assumptions about participation, such as that it follows a consistent trend over time. In particular, we use this method to investigate the connection between user behavior and distressful cancer events and demonstrate how this tool could assist in cancer story summarization.
Personalized incremental users' engagement: driving contributions one step forward BIBAFull-Text 189-198
  Claudia López; Rosta Farzan; Peter Brusilovsky
Successful contributors in online communities go through a lifecycle of membership status starting from the periphery and moving to the core over time. We argue that a personalized incremental engagement strategy can mobilize a larger proportion of members through this process. This paper presents our approach to identify a progression of contributions in an online community and the design of personalized incremental engagement strategy which will drive users' contributions one step forward. The results of our field study show that the personalized incremental approach significantly boosts contributions in an online community for academic conferences.
Supporting initial trust in distributed idea generation and idea evaluation BIBAFull-Text 199-208
  Jana Schumann; Patrick C. Shih; David F. Redmiles; Graham Horton
Previous research has shown that diversity within distributed collaborative teams can lead to innovation, but trust must exist for the open expression of innovative ideas and establishment of idea credibility. Initial trust is pivotal for distributed teams where team members have never met face-to-face and have only a very limited time to accomplish a task. Our goal is to determine if knowing specific information about other team members could enhance initial trust and improve productivity and satisfaction in idea generation and idea evaluation sessions. In an experiment, we showed that cognitive and affective trust could be successfully enhanced by presenting relevant information elements, such as domain expertise and personal hobbies, and could have positive effects on the quality and quantity of ideas in idea generation sessions as well as the satisfaction of the participants with the rating result in idea evaluation sessions. However, participants receiving personal information often misconstrue this as professional competency. We also describe gender differences observed in the idea generation sessions and discuss how to better design future systems for supporting idea generation and idea evaluation activities.
From credit and risk to trust: towards a credit flow based trust model for social networks BIBAFull-Text 209-218
  Yuqing Mao; Haifeng Shen; Chengzheng Sun
Trust management is a paramount issue in social networks. Existing models based on global reputation are simplistic as they do not support personalised measures for individual users. Models based on local trust propagation tend to be too subjective to be reliable as they do not consider a social network in its entirety. More importantly, neither model has taken the risk factor into the consideration of trust management. In this paper, we contribute a novel trust model that allows personalised measures to be naturally established on objective grounds through tracing credit flows within a social network, where the trust between a pair of users can be derived from the credit flowing from one into the other and the relative risk disparity between them. This model uses power flows in an electrical grid as a metaphor for the credit flows in a social network and is based on the hypothesis that the credit flows in a social network are similar in nature to the power flows in an electrical grid. Experiments with a real-world dataset have proved the hypothesis and the results have shown that the credit flow based trust model can derive not only personalised but also more accurate trust measures than existing models do.

Understanding information in social media

Tagging Wikipedia: collaboratively creating a category system BIBAFull-Text 219-228
  Katherine Thornton; David W. McDonald
Category systems have traditionally been created by small committees of people who had authority over the system they were designing. With the rise of large-scale social media systems, category schemes are being created by groups with differing perspectives, values, and expectations for how categories will be used. Prior studies of social tagging and folksonomy focused on the application and evolution of the collective category scheme, but struggled to uncover some of the collective rationale undergirding the decision-making processes in those schemes. In this paper, we qualitatively analyze the early discussions among editors of Wikipedia about the design and creation of its category system. We highlight three themes that dominated the discussion: hierarchy, scope and navigation, and relate these themes to their more formal roots in the information science literature. We distill out four styles of collaboration with regard to category systems that apply broadly to social tagging and other folksonomies. We conclude the paper with implications for collaborative tools and category systems as applied to large-scale collaborative systems.
Twitter zombie: architecture for capturing, socially transforming and analyzing the twittersphere BIBAFull-Text 229-238
  Alan Black; Christopher Mascaro; Michael Gallagher; Sean P. Goggins
Social computational systems emerge in the wild on popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, but there remains confusion about the relationship between social interactions and the technical traces of interaction left behind through use. Twitter interactions and social experience are particularly challenging to make sense of because of the wide range of tools used to access Twitter (text message, website, iPhone, TweetDeck and others), and the emergent set of practices for annotating message context (hashtags, reply to's and direct messaging). Further, Twitter is used as a back channel of communication in a wide range of contexts, ranging from disaster relief to watching television. Our study examines Twitter as a transport protocol that is used differently in different socio-technical contexts, and presents an analysis of how researchers might begin to approach studies of Twitter interactions with a more reflexive stance toward the application programming interfaces (APIs) Twitter provides. We conduct a careful review of existing literature examining socio-technical phenomena on Twitter, revealing a collective inconsistency in the description of data gathering and analysis methods. In this paper, we present a candidate architecture and methodological approach for examining specific parts of the Twittersphere. Our contribution begins a discussion among social media researchers on the topic of how to systematically and consistently make sense of the social phenomena that emerge through Twitter. This work supports the comparative analysis of Twitter studies and the development of social media theories.
Towards an understanding of social inference opportunities in social computing BIBAFull-Text 239-248
  Julia M. Mayer; Richard P. Schuler; Quentin Jones
Social computing applications are transforming the way we make new social ties, work, learn and play, thus becoming an essential part our social fabric. As a result, people and systems routinely make inferences about people's personal information based on their disclosed personal information. Despite the significance of this phenomenon the opportunity to make social inferences about users and how this process can be managed is poorly understood. In this paper we 1) outline why social inferences are important to study in the context of social computing applications, 2) how we can model, understand and predict social inference opportunities 3) highlight the need for social inference management systems, and 4) discuss the design space and associated research challenges. Collectively, this paper provides the first systematic overview for social inference research in the area of social computing.
The gap between producer intentions and consumer behavior in social media BIBAFull-Text 249-252
  Emilee Rader; Alcides Velasquez; Kayla D. Hales; Helen Kwok
It can be difficult for social media users to tell who is paying attention to what they post. As producers of content, Facebook users make assumptions about who will be part of their intended audience. However, when the same user's role shifts to that of consumer, the criteria for consumption depends on factors outside of the original producer's control. This creates a gap between producer intentions and consumer behavior; producing content that is actually consumed by one's intended audience is neither guaranteed nor easily confirmed.

Methods for understanding & supporting online communities

Supporting artifact-mediated discourses through a recursive annotation tool BIBAFull-Text 253-262
  Federico Cabitza; Carla Simone; Marco P. Locatelli
This paper focuses on tight communities and specifically on the distributed, mediated discourses that their members articulate around documents and inscribed material artifacts. The paper presents a prototype-based design experience toward the definition of a collaborative annotation tool that is endowed with discourse oriented functionalities whose main characteristics have emerged from case studies we undertook in the healthcare and agricultural domains. In latter domain an initial prototype was proposed and progressively tuned to help users propose modifications to an institutional document through the expression of comments gathered around and about a common artifact, and then build a representative summary of the opinions emerging within the community as a result of this distributed discussion. In light of the reported case study, we discuss a new perspective on this class of annotating applications and the related functionalities that could realize a new simplified model of discourse and foster its adoption in distributed settings and communities of practice.
Discovering habits of effective online support group chatrooms BIBAFull-Text 263-272
  Elijah Mayfield; Miaomiao Wen; Mitch Golant; Carolyn Penstein Rosé
For users of online support groups, prior research has suggested that a positive social environment is a key enabler of coping. Typically, demonstrating such claims about social interaction would be approached through the lens of sentiment analysis. In this work, we argue instead for a multifaceted view of emotional state, which incorporates both a static view of emotion (sentiment) with a dynamic view based on the behaviors present in a text. We codify this dynamic view through data annotations marking information sharing, sentiment, and coping efficacy. Through machine learning analysis of these annotations, we demonstrate that while sentiment predicts a user's stress at the beginning of a chat, dynamic views of efficacy are stronger indicators of stress reduction.
The role of narratives in collaborative information seeking BIBAFull-Text 273-276
  Arvind Karunakaran; Madhu Reddy
There has been a growing interest within the CSCW community to understand how actors in organizations collaboratively seek information. This focus had led to the emergence of the research area of collaborative information seeking (CIS). Despite an increasing number of conceptual as well as technical studies related to CIS, many fundamental questions still remain unanswered. For example, researchers within this space have argued that CIS goes beyond two or more individuals posing "question and answers" to each other in their attempt to seek the needed information. If CIS is not just about "question and answers", then what does it exactly constitute? We propose that one way to answer these questions is to conceptualize CIS as being constituted through, and orchestrated via, "narratives". In this research note, we elaborate upon the notion of "narratives", and talk about the potential usefulness of such a conceptualization for furthering CIS research and advancing CSCW scholarship.
Qualitative data collection technologies: a comparison of instant messaging, email, and phone BIBAFull-Text 277-280
  Jill P. Dimond; Casey Fiesler; Betsy DiSalvo; Jon Pelc; Amy S. Bruckman
With the growing body of qualitative research on HCI and social computing, it is natural that researchers may choose to conduct that research in a mediated fashion -- over telephone or computer networks. In this paper we compare three different qualitative data collection technologies: phone, instant message (IM), and email. We use quantitative analysis techniques to examine the differences between the methods specifically concerning word count and qualitative codes. We find that there are differences between the methods, and that each technology has affordances that impact the data. Although phone interviews contain four times as many words on average as email and IM, we were surprised to discover that there is no significant difference in number of unique qualitative codes expressed between phone and IM.
Workflow transparency in a microtask marketplace BIBAFull-Text 281-284
  Peter Kinnaird; Laura Dabbish; Sara Kiesler
Interdependent tasks in Mechanical Turk (MTurk) can be managed efficiently with a workflow, a sequence of tasks through which work passes to its completion. We ask if workers should be informed about the workflow, which we call workflow transparency. Transparency could motivate workers or induce social loafing. We describe three experiments to determine the effects of workflow transparency in MTurk. We compared a text description of the workflow, a visualization of the workflow, and the combination of text and visualization with a control condition giving no workflow information. Workflow transparency marginally increased volunteerism on a charity identification task (experiment 1) and significantly increased volunteerism and quality on a business identification task (experiment 2). Results were weaker with a less experienced worker sample (experiment 3). We suggest further research on the design of workflow information to increase workers' motivation.

Doctoral colloquium

From consumer to community: factors of influence in the purchasing decision making process BIBAFull-Text 285-286
  Barbara Gligorijevic
The impacts of online collaboration and networking among consumers on social media (SM) websites which are featuring user generated content in a form of product reviews, ratings and recommendations (PRRR) as an emerging information source is the focus of this research. The proliferation of websites where consumers are able to post the PRRR and share them with other consumers has altered the marketing environment in which companies, marketers and advertisers operate. This cross-sectional study explored consumers' attitudes and behaviour toward various information sources (IS), used in the information search phase of the purchasing decision-making process. The study was conducted among 300 international consumers. The results were showing that personal and public IS were far more reliable than commercial. The findings indicate that traditional marketing tools are no longer viable in the SM milieu.
Social technologies and knowledge sharing within and across organizations BIBAFull-Text 287-288
  Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi
This doctoral research empirically investigates the role of various social technologies in informal knowledge sharing practices within and across organizations. Social technologies include both (a) traditional social technologies (e.g., email, phone and instant messengers) and (b) emerging social networking technologies commonly known as social media such as blogs, wikis, major public social networking sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), and enterprise social networking technologies employed behind a firewall. Building from sociomateriality research, I study how these social technologies, as a suite of tools, are used in combination. The primary outcome of this research is a more complete conceptualization of the role and value of various social technologies for knowledge sharing in organizational contexts, which still remains understudied within the CSCW arena.
Communication breakdowns in global software development teams: is knowledge creation the answer? BIBAFull-Text 289-290
  Rasmus Eskild Jensen
The aim of this research is to understand collaborative work practices in global software development companies with a special emphasis on knowledge creation in global software development (GSD) teams. The research is based on a work place study of a Danish software company working with a Philippine offshore department. So far I have found that miscommunication and misunderstandings between the Danish and the Philippine developers in the project are partly grounded in different social worlds. Next step is to investigate the role of knowledge creation and describe in further detail how these misunderstandings occur in the everyday work practice.
Language proficiency matters in group chat: supporting cross-cultural communication processes BIBAFull-Text 291-292
  Na Li
Cross-cultural group chat is an important communication method in organizational and educational settings. Studies have shown that communication problems exist persistently due to non-native and native speakers' unmatched levels of language proficiency. Realizing the profound problem and increasing need for better communication from the real world, in my dissertation I am studying the communication processes associated of cross-cultural group chat and explore possible tools to assist both non-native and native speakers to communicate better.
Impression formation in online collaborative communities BIBAFull-Text 293-294
  Jennifer Marlow
In online collaborative communities such as open source software development, people often encounter unknown others who they must work with in the absence of any previous interaction or formal organizational relationship. These settings are increasingly supported by social networking systems. When connected with the work, these systems can provide detailed information about individuals' activities and behaviors. My research focuses on understanding how individuals form impressions of others in work environments supported by social media, and how these impressions influence collaborative outcomes.
A framework and future direction for studying productive applications of social media / social networking sites BIBAFull-Text 295-296
  Andrew J. Roback
I am researching how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) utilize social media and social networking sites (SM/SNS) in their efforts to organize, inform, and serve the communities they operate in as well as how they use these technologies to communicate and disseminate information. This study will gather data on persons posting on behalf of NGOs and examine SM/SNS data with the goal of developing a framework for both future research and contextual application of SM/SNS as a mediating artifact by NGOs. Many previous studies have addressed similar issues, but those studies are limited in context (e.g. one large software manufacturer) and they typically use only one type of research method. I will address this issue by aggregating a large data set and employing mixed methods to improve the generalizability of my findings and present a replicable framework for future studies of organizational use of SM/SNS.
Learning landscapes: physical space and digital technology in museum collaboration and learning BIBAFull-Text 297-298
  Rolf Steier
The goal of this research project is to understand the relationship between spatial-technological features of interactive museum exhibits, and youth visitors' meaning making experiences and interactions. Through collaboration with the National Gallery of Norway, I led the design and installation of an interactive project room connected to the artist Edvard Munch. A sociocultural perspective on meaning making frames both the design and research of this project room. The study explores the interactions of small groups of teenaged museum visitors as they engage with the interactive stations in this project room and across their entire visit. This short paper introduces the research project, describes the data collection and analysis methods, and concludes with the current status and future directions of the project.
Scenario-based design of a digital reminiscing system for the elderly BIBAFull-Text 299-300
  Elizabeth Thiry
There has recently been interest within the HCI community concerning both current practices and digital tools for reminiscing. Several systems have been developed to trigger and/or capture reminiscence content, however very little is known about the overall process of reminiscing or been developed for an older healthy population. For my dissertation I have investigated when and how elderly individuals reminisce and am developing a prototype system that can enhance and maintain records of their reminiscing.
Collaborating with others trying to do the same thing: coordination in an educational improvement network BIBAFull-Text 301-302
  Peter Samuelson Wardrip
The use of networks to support and scale school reform initiatives and educational programs are becoming more and more prevalent. Through an initiative of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (CFAT), an emerging organizational form known as a Networked Improvement Community (NIC), offers an infrastructure for implementing and improving educational innovations. Fundamental to the work of this network is the collaboration of multiple actors and teams at multiple sites. Yet, this collaboration across time and space does not just happen. It requires coordination mechanisms to guide the actions of those involved in collaboration. This research seeks to build an initial conceptual framework to study how the joint work on an educational reform happens in a distributed or networked organizational environment. A NIC is a case of one such environment.
Better understanding of human decision making can inform the design of sociotechnical systems that foster and support behavior modification BIBAFull-Text 303-304
  Jason Zietz
Behavior modification is the process of identifying and changing an undesirable behavior to a more desirable one. As computational devices and the data they produce become more ubiquitous, sociotechnical systems utilizing these devices become more viable as tools to support behavior modification endeavors. These systems can be accessed at the moments people need them, supplying the right support and guidance on a personalized basis. As behaviors are based on decisions, sociotechnical systems supporting behavior modification that incorporate our understanding of human decision making are likely to be more efficacious than those that do not. These systems can also utilize our knowledge of motivation to further improve their users' likelihood of success. My dissertation research examines how our understanding of human decision making and motivation can be used to better determine how sociotechnical systems can be built that encourage and support people in their behavior modification efforts.

Poster

Group dynamics findings from coordination in problem solving and decision making meetings BIBAFull-Text 305-306
  Flaviu Roman; Himanshu Verma; Patrick Jermann; Pierre Dillenbourg
We present the results of group dynamics and their effect on success in problem solving/decision making meetings. We use a novel multiple input environment for collaboration and data collection, and a hidden profile task given to groups, whose goals are to find the correct solution. We observe that groups elect 0, 1 or 2 leaders, and the best results are obtained by the groups with a single leader. Prior acquaintance (familiarity), does not show any effect on the success or on the group strategies. Groups with a single leader tend to be more successful, and leaders expressed their authority verbally rather than by through the collaborative system.
Tweet recall: examining real-time civic discourse on Twitter BIBAFull-Text 307-308
  Christopher Mascaro; Alan Black; Sean Goggins
We present a preliminary analysis of #widebate, a hashtag to identify discourse related to two debates in the June 2012, Wisconsin Gubernatorial recall election. Our analysis identifies the differences in discourse between the two debates. We find that only 14% of individuals participate in discourse surrounding both of the debates. Further, we identify differences in the way that the most active individuals in the discourse utilize syntactical features. Our findings contribute to the limited literature examining technologically-mediated discourse related to political debates.
Readers' motivations to participate in hyperlocal news content creation BIBAFull-Text 309-312
  Heli Väätäjä
Readers are increasingly participating to news content creation by submitting user-generated content (UGC). We studied the participation motivations of active readers who send photo content to a hyperlocal news publisher. The first results based on an online questionnaire indicate that fun, the opportunity to get a monetary reward and informing others of local issues are the strongest motivators. In addition, participation to the news making activity and self-expression are important motivations. Those who intentionally planned and searched for topics to report with photos, reported more often the opportunity for extra income and development as a photographer as participation motivations than those, who captured photos when a good topic came about.
Knowledge transferability in partially distributed conceptual design teams BIBAFull-Text 313-316
  Yoon Suk Lee; Marie C. Paretti; Brian M. Kleiner
In this paper, we aim to identify different types of knowledge that needs to be conveyed during a conceptual design task. We hypothesize that different types of knowledge has different transferability in a partially distributed team setting, and thus influences team members' communication behaviors. The impacts due to different transferability of design knowledge are discussed.
Elastic collaboration support: from workflow-based to emergent collaboration BIBAFull-Text 317-320
  Jordan Janeiro; Stephan Lukosch; Frances Brazier
This paper addresses the challenges of providing customized collaboration support to teams of experts. Current groupware systems only provide support for workflow-based collaboration, avoiding new forms of collaboration such as emergent collaboration. Therefore this paper proposes a elastic collaboration approach and its implementation in a groupware system.

Workshops

GROUP workshop proposal: collaboration in managing computer systems BIBAFull-Text 321-322
  Kirstie Hawkey; Eben M. Haber
Collaboration is critical to the management of modern computer systems. At every scale, making computers work is a collective task, from enterprise systems where teams of disparate specialists work together to understand, manage, and maintain vast complex IT infrastructures, all the way down to individuals seeking online, family, and co-worker help on how to keep their personal computers running. Since 2007, the CHIMIT symposium has served as a venue for research on all aspects of HCI and the management of information technology. CHIMIT sits at the intersection of several research communities, and to better draw in people from these communities, we plan to hold a series of workshops emphasizing various aspects of HCI and IT management. For GROUP, we propose a one-day workshop examining the collaborative aspects of configuring, managing, and troubleshooting computer systems at all scales.
CSCL@work revisited -- beyond CSCL and CSCW?: are there key design principles for computer supported collaborative learning at the workplace? BIBAFull-Text 323-326
  Sean Goggins; Isa Jahnke; Volker Wulf
We propose an interdisciplinary workshop to explore key design principles of collaborative learning in the workplace. The workshop's theme is, simply "CSCL at the workplace". Our first workshop at ACM Group 2010, and the resulting book, raise an important set of issues and potentials for research, but does not solve the thorny and controversial issues. This workshop will be focused on for making progress on the identified issues. The ACM Group conference remains an ideal venue for a workshop on this topic because the North American and European communities who participate in Group include leading members of the international CSCL and CSCW communities. The proposed workshop will be a full day. It will open with a situating presentation by the organizers and, participant questions and proposed solutions aimed at the issues we have raised and begun to recognize, and focus working groups on the resolution of those issues in work to follow the conference. To participate in the workshop, discussants will be asked for a position paper of up to 2 pages in standard ACM format. Our edited book will be made available to participants in advance, and selected authors who will be present will provide overviews of their work and perspective in an interleaved way with the more action oriented working sessions.
Moving beyond talking heads to shared experiences: the future of personal video communication BIBAFull-Text 327-330
  Carman Neustaedter; Erick Oduor; Gina Venolia; Tejinder K. Judge
This workshop explores the future of personal video communications where systems and designs move beyond supporting conversations to a new design paradigm consisting of shared activities and experiences between distance-separated family and friends.