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CT Tables of Contents: 03050709111315

Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Communities and Technologies

Fullname:Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Communities and Technologies
Editors:Gabriela Avram; Fiorella De Cindio; Volkmar Pipek
Location:Limerick, Ireland
Dates:2015-Jun-27 to 2015-Jun-30
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-3460-0; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: CT15
Links:Conference Website
  1. Design and Design Issues 1
  2. Urban Communities 1
  3. Design and Design Issues 2
  4. Local Communities
  5. Rural Communities
  6. Urban Communities 2
  7. Volunteer communities
  8. Workshops

Design and Design Issues 1

Anonymous Quorans are still Quorans, just anonymous BIBAFull-Text 9-18
  Malte Paskuda; Myriam Lewkowicz
This article presents a study that investigates how anonymity influences user participation in an online question-and-answer platform (Quora). The study is one step in identifying hypotheses that can be used to address a research and design issue concerning the role of anonymity in online participation, particularly among older informal caregivers. We present here a model that describes the factors that influence participation, which we based on the literature. These factors were used when analyzing the answers to questions in the health category on Quora. The results of this study complement an earlier study that we conducted on YouTube comments. On Quora, there was only one significant difference between anonymous and non-anonymous answers: with anonymous answers, social appreciation correlated with the answer's length.
Exploring the mechanisms behind the assessment of usefulness of restaurant reviews BIBAFull-Text 19-27
  Claudia López; Rosta Farzan
Local online reviews such as Yelp have become large repositories of information, thus making it difficult for readers to find the most useful content. Our work investigates the factors that influence the readers' judgment of usefulness of restaurant reviews. We focus on assessing the mechanism behind the users' assessment of usefulness of reviews, particularly with respect to reviews provided by reviewers with local knowledge. We collected 160 manual annotations of 36 unique restaurant reviews and we interviewed ten participants. Our results show that users are able to detect reviews written by knowledgeable locals, and they perceive reviews provided by locals more useful not because they provide more valuable content but because local knowledge results in higher trust. We discuss design implications of these findings for helping readers to overcome information overload in local systems.

Urban Communities 1

Vote as you go: blending interfaces for community engagement into the urban space BIBAFull-Text 29-37
  Luke Hespanhol; Martin Tomitsch; Ian McArthur; Joel Fredericks; Ronald Schroeter; Marcus Foth
This paper presents a series of studies on situated interfaces for community engagement. Firstly, we identify five recurring design challenges as well as four common strategies used to overcome them. We then assess the effectiveness of these strategies through field studies with public polling interfaces. We developed two very different polling interfaces in the form of (1) a web application running on an iPad mounted on a stand, allowing one vote at a time, and (2) a playful full-body interaction application for a large urban screen allowing concurrent participation. We deployed both interfaces in an urban precinct with high pedestrian traffic and equipped with a large urban screen. Analysing discoverability and learnability of each scenario, we derive insights regarding effective ways of blending community engagement interfaces into the built environment, while attracting the attention of passers-by and communicating the results of civic participation.
Understanding future challenges for networked public display systems in community settings BIBAFull-Text 39-48
  Nemanja Memarovic
Networked public displays are envisioned as a communication medium for the 21st century, and as such they have a great potential to address place-based communities. This area has seen an increasing numbers of investigations of networked public displays effects on communities and the way they impact interactions between community members. However, most of this research stands alone in isolation, with little work looking into synthesizing the systems, processes, research questions, and evaluation procedures and effects they produce. In this paper we look at seminal works in the area, i.e., the Wray Photo Display, the Plasma Poster Network, CoCollage, and UBI-Hotspots, and analyze the systems themselves, settings in which they were deployed and respective communities, the processes leading to building up the system, the research questions that were examined, and the effects of the networked public display systems on the community. We discuss the similarities and differences in these works and provide insights for the designers and developers of similar future systems, with a goal to present open challenges for the future work.

Design and Design Issues 2

Participation in design between public sector and local communities BIBAFull-Text 49-58
  Susanne Bødker; Pär-Ola Zander
This paper discusses three cases where design was carried out at the intersection between public sector and citizen communities. Based on three dominant traditions meeting there -- public (municipal) decision-making, Web 2.0 and participatory design -- we identify challenges and solutions regarding participation and engagement of municipal workers and citizens. While this intersection is exactly where a new form of democratic participation could develop, the three traditions were, nonetheless, far from easily combined in the specific cases. The challenges that we have identified are to: Identify win-win situations, rather than to maximize participation; to work with motivation for long-term projects across municipality and communities; to identify and work with early movers, and not just representative citizens; and to create space for local municipal agencies to develop bottom-up technological solutions. The multiplicity of co-existing traditions of involvement need more focus in the future development of participatory design.
Lend me sugar, I am your neighbor!: a content analysis of online forums for local communities BIBAFull-Text 59-67
  Claudia López; Rosta Farzan
A variety of online tools have grown as platforms to encourage community development among neighbors. In a study of 22 online forums for local communities, we explored how the content shared on these systems reflects their contribution to their goal of community development and, at the same time, how it affects their sustainability as information systems. Our results show that local forums are primarily used to mobilize resources from local residents. Many mobilization requests seem to rely on users' offline connections, which considerably change the patterns of users' interaction online. These characteristics speak to how the interplay of offline and online connections introduce new challenges and opportunities to maintain thriving online platforms for local communities. Our paper reports on these issues and discusses their implications for the development and study of participatory technologies for community development.
Do we speak the same language?: design goals and culture clashes in an online forum for young people BIBAFull-Text 69-78
  Annamari Martinviita; Leena Kuure; Pentti Luoma
This is a case study exploring the social scene created on a newly-developed online service for increasing the study motivation of 16-18-year-old students in vocational education in Finland. The developers wished to motivate participation by the addition of a communal chat space to engender a sense of community on the site. The analysis shows that the students appropriated the communal chat space for uses in line with their prior experience of online interaction, while the developers had based their design on a very different experience. However, the developers were able to respond flexibly to encourage interaction rather than limiting topics of conversation to those desired in the original design. As a result, the communal page could be seen to fulfil some of the expectations of the developers in unexpected ways. The case offers learning points for developers and administrators who wish to create online social spaces with a particular aim.

Local Communities

Information sharing, scheduling, and awareness in community gardening collaboration BIBAFull-Text 79-88
  Xiaolan Wang; Ron Wakkary; Carman Neustaedter; Audrey Desjardins
Community gardens are places where people, as a collaborative group, grow food for themselves and for others. There is a lack of studies in HCI regarding collaboration in community gardens and considering technologies to support such collaborations. This paper reports on a detailed study of collaboration in community gardens in Greater Vancouver, Canada. The goal of our study is to uncover the unique nature of such collaborative acts. As one might expect, we found considerable differences between community gardening collaboration and workplace collaboration. The contribution is the articulation of key considerations for designing technologies for community gardening collaboration. These include design considerations like volunteerism, competences and inclusion, synchronicity, and telepresence as unique aspects of community collaboration in community garden. We also articulate the complexities of community gardening collaboration, which raise issues like control, shared language, and collective ownership that exist more as conditions within which to design than "problems" to solve through technologies.
Growing food in the city: design ideations for urban residential gardeners BIBAFull-Text 89-97
  Peter Lyle; Jaz Hee-jeong Choi; Marcus Foth
Urban agriculture refers to the production of food in urban and peri-urban spaces. It can contribute positively to health and food security of a city, while also reducing 'food miles.' It takes on many forms, from the large and organised community garden, to the small and discrete backyard or balcony. This study focuses on small-scale food production in the form of residential gardening for home or personal use. We explore opportunities to support people's engagement in urban agriculture via human-computer interaction design. This research presents the findings and HCI design insights from our study of residential gardeners in Brisbane, Australia. By exploring their understanding of gardening practice with a human-centred design approach, we present six key themes, highlighting opportunities and challenges relating to available time and space; the process of learning and experimentation; and the role of existing online platforms to support gardening practice. Finally we discuss the overarching theme of shared knowledge, and how HCI could improve community engagement and gardening practice.

Rural Communities

Reducing "white elephant" ICT4D projects: a community-researcher engagement BIBAFull-Text 99-107
  Heike Winschiers-Theophilus; Tariq Zaman; Alvin Yeo
Participation is a key requirement to ensure that ICT4D and HCI4D projects succeed. Specifically, the relationship between the research and community is necessary for any ICT4D project; without this cooperation, the proverbial white elephant project will result. Existing literature provides much evidence on the need and importance of this participation. However, many researchers lack the skills and knowledge to be able to build, develop and maintain the relationship, as many interactions are based on assumptions. We investigate challenges and frustrations as expressed by a community with whom we have established a long term collaboration. This provides further evidence on the need to guide and educate novice researchers working with the community. We have conducted a workshop to raise the awareness among guest researchers. The workshop comprises a series of presentations, discussions and reflections. We have recorded guest researchers' responses within the workshop to evaluate further needs for researcher-community interaction preparations. A workshop is yet only one of the gatekeepers' obligations to protect the community. We equally promote continuous engagement with the community itself in the design of critical incidents based on established cultural protocols as well as preparing the community for the novice researchers to maximize research benefits to the community. We discuss potential roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, partner community, gatekeepers and guest researchers aiming to sustain a coherent research and development collaboration.
Community broadband initiatives: what makes them successful and why? BIBAFull-Text 109-117
  Claire Wallace; Kathryn Vincent; Cristian Luguzan; Hilary Talbot
Although access to broadband has become a facility embedded in everyday life, many communities still have poor or no connectivity, especially in rural areas. The paper considers how some local communities have taken matters into their own hands and set up their own community broadband infrastructure in the UK. The paper examines four case study rural communities in terms of the organisation of broadband provision. It identifies common skills and resources that were necessary in order for these community broadband initiatives to be successful in the form of five capitals: human, technological, identity and financial.

Urban Communities 2

Urban ageing: technology, agency and community in smarter cities for older people BIBAFull-Text 119-128
  Valeria Righi; Sergio Sayago; Josep Blat
Despite the widespread popularity of smart cities in policy and research fields, and the ever-increasing ageing population in urban areas, ageing issues have seldom been addressed in depth in smart city programs. The main focus has hitherto been on making physical environments 'older people friendly'. We review studies in environmental gerontology, policies and HCI that show the multifaceted relationship between ageing and cities. We discuss two case studies with scenarios of engagement of older people in urban areas we undertook in the past 4 years. By drawing upon the results, we propose a vision of smart city that conceives of older people as embedded in intergenerational urban communities and capable of creating new engagement situations by reconfiguring IT-driven scenarios to their interests and social practices. This paper aims at expanding the current visions of smart cities for older people by building along three main dimensions: technology, agency and community.

Volunteer communities

Being present in online communities: learning in citizen science BIBAFull-Text 129-138
  Gabriel Mugar; Carsten Østerlund; Corey Brian Jackson; Kevin Crowston
How online community members learn to become valuable contributors constitutes a long-standing concern of Community & Technology researchers. The literature tends to highlight participants' access to practice, feedback from experienced members, and relationship building. However, not all crowdsourcing environments offer participants opportunities for access, feedback, and relationship building (e.g., Citizen Science). We study how volunteers learn to participate in a citizen science project, Planet Hunters, through participant observation, interviews, and trace ethnography. Drawing on Sørensen's sociomaterial theories of presence, we extend the notion of situated learning to include several modes of learning. The empirical findings suggest that volunteers in citizen science engage more than one form of access to practice, feedback, and relationship building. Communal relations characterize only one form of learning. Equally important to their learning are authority -- subject and agent-centered forms of access, feedback, and relationship building.
Studying a community of volunteers at a historic cemetery to inspire interaction concepts BIBAFull-Text 139-148
  Luigina Ciolfi; Daniela Petrelli
We present empirical fieldwork conducted in collaboration with a local community of cultural heritage volunteers at the historic Sheffield General Cemetery, in order to inform and realise concepts for interactive installations. The volunteers take care of the site and of its visitors and perform a variety of important activities for preservation and outreach. With the purpose of co-envisioning and co-designing novel technological interventions to support the volunteers in engaging visitors and communicating the heritage site to the public, we have embarked on collaboration with the Cemetery Trust. In this paper we describe a particular study, conducted to glean an understanding of the volunteers' practices, concerns and strategies. We conclude by presenting a number of interaction concepts developed as part of co-design workshops and brainstorming sessions involving the volunteers that address their concerns and needs.


Cultural heritage communities: technologies and challenges BIBAFull-TextWeb Page 149-152
  Luigina Ciolfi; Areti Damala; Eva Hornecker; Monika Lechner; Laura Maye; Daniela Petrelli
This workshop will explore the role of technology supporting and mediating cultural heritage practices for both professional communities (cultural heritage professionals, heritage institutions, etc.) and civic communities (citizen-led heritage initiatives, heritage volunteers, personal and community identified heritage, heritage crowdsourcing, etc.). The workshop -- which aims to attract participants from heritage studies and practice, community engagement, digital humanities and human-centred computing -- will discuss challenges and future opportunities for technology use and for design and participatory processes in the context of various heritage communities, and the role of different stakeholders in engaging with heritage in a technologically-mediated way.
CulTech2015: cultural diversity and technology design BIBAFull-TextWeb Page 153-156
  Helen Ai He; Nemanja Memarovic; Amalia Sabiescu; Aldo de Moor
With globalization and technological advances, people are increasingly coming into contact with others from different cultural backgrounds, particularly in place-based and virtual communities. Yet, cultural diversity -- the diversity of community members' cultural backgrounds -- offers both significant benefits and challenges in the design, usage and evaluation of technologies. In this one-day workshop, we explore the role of cultural diversity in potentially informing, supporting, challenging or impacting the design of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) within community contexts. To delve into this complex and multifaceted space, we welcome workshop submissions that 1) engage broadly with the role of culture within technology design and usage for, with and by communities, as well as 2) proposals for approaches, tools, conceptual and methodological frameworks, case studies and best practices in community-based design that exploit cultural diversity as an asset and seek to encourage intercultural interactions. Our goal is to bring together academics and practitioners from different domains such as computer science, urban design, interactive art, anthropology and social sciences who share a common interest in exploring the design space of ICTs, culture and communities.
Encouraging collective intelligence for the common good: how do we integrate the disparate pieces? BIBAFull-TextWeb Page 157-159
  Douglas Schuler; Fiorella De Cindio; Anna De Liddo
Largely due to the Internet and the increase in digital network communications worldwide, researchers, community members, activists, and many others are exploring new ways of empowering citizens with systems that promote Collective Intelligence for the Common Good (CI4CG). We define CI4CG as a distinctive type of collective intelligence, which emerges in civic contexts; it is aimed at generating societal good; improving civic engagement; enabling democratic decision making and deliberation; and producing, collectively built and owned, transformative solutions to complex societal challenges. In this workshop we will survey a variety of online tools and discuss what aspects of CI4CG they are intended to address and how they would be used by communities. An important part of the work will be identifying possible approaches towards integrating the tools technologically and socially. We will try to identify frameworks and mechanisms that various systems could leverage.
Connected sustainability: connecting sustainability-driven, grass-roots communities through technology BIBAFull-TextWeb Page 161-163
  Nadia Pantidi; Jennifer Ferreira; Mara Balestrini; Mark Perry; Paul Marshall; John McCarthy
Recently, global economic turmoil has led to the rise of many grass-roots movements and communities that share a strong sustainability agenda and the desire for political, economic and societal change in the world. Digital technologies play a role in supporting these growing communities in achieving their goals, maintaining and extending their practices and connections. This marks a new area of research for HCI, that of Connected Sustainability. In this workshop, we seek to understand the values and practices of such communities; the role of digital technologies in shaping and sustaining identity and community action; and existing challenges and opportunities.
Digital cities 9 workshop -- hackable cities: from subversive city making to systemic change BIBAFull-TextWeb Page 165-167
  Michiel de Lange; Nanna Verhoeff; Martijn de Waal; Marcus Foth; Martin Brynskov
The DC9 workshop takes place on June 27, 2015 in Limerick, Ireland and is titled "Hackable Cities: From Subversive City Making to Systemic Change". The notion of "hacking" originates from the world of media technologies but is increasingly often being used for creative ideals and practices of city making. "City hacking" evokes more participatory, inclusive, decentralized, playful and subversive alternatives to often top-down ICT implementations in smart city making. However, these discourses about "hacking the city" are used ambiguously and are loaded with various ideological presumptions, which makes the term also problematic. For some "urban hacking" is about empowering citizens to organize around communal issues and perform aesthetic urban interventions. For others it raises questions about governance: what kind of "city hacks" should be encouraged or not, and who decides? Can city hacking be curated? For yet others, trendy participatory buzzwords like these are masquerades for deeply libertarian neoliberal values. Furthermore, a question is how "city hacking" may mature from the tactical level of smart and often playful interventions to the strategic level of enduring impact. The Digital Cities 9 workshop welcomes papers that explore the idea of "hackable city making" in constructive and critical ways.