[Air-L] Call for Workshop Proposals: GROUP 2008

Cliff Lampe lampecli at msu.edu
Tue Aug 14 09:38:51 PDT 2007

Apologies for any cross-posting


The text below announces a workshop at the ACM-GROUP conference that may be
of interest to AoIR participants.  Scott Counts from Microsoft Research and
I are trying to put together a discussion of social computing, specifically
bringing together researchers from different fields in this area.  We plan
to discuss big research issues in social computing, the different homes in
which social computing research is being done (and whether more can be done
to find a cohesive publication venue), and the interdisciplinary nature of
work in this area.

ACM-GROUP takes place in lovely Sanibel Island, FL in November.  We think
those of you interested in the development of "ICT research" as a field
would gain from and offer to a lot from this workshop.  Hope to see you in

Call for participation:


The term social computing is used regularly to describe research projects,
technology systems, conference sessions, and even research groups, but what
are the research questions and strategies that will help move forward a deep
understand of social computing? The commonalities - the causes, effects, and
motivations- in the human and technological factors underlying social
computing systems are the big issues we are searching for with this
workshop. Social psychological processes of online groups, crowd behavior in
large online forums, social organization structures in online games,
identity and deception in online dating sites, and creating and enforcing
norms in media-poor environments are examples of work in this purview. How
can we pull together a research effort effective and large scale enough to
really address these and similar phenomena?  

Attempting to identify and define research directions in social computing
implies a somewhat larger goal, which is to take a step toward solidifying
social computing as a distinct research area, with common methods, theories,
and publication outlets. Many researchers are addressing questions in this
area, yet often under the rubric of other disciplines. In order to take a
step to bring this field into its own, we hope this workshop will begin to
address the difficulty in unifying the diversity of people working in the
area. Thus, an additional goal for the workshop is to bring together
researchers that might not normally interact and may bring very different
perspectives, but that nonetheless are studying similar phenomena. Finally,
we hope to use this workshop to contribute to a roadmap for more organized
research, funding, and publication activities going forward.  


Proposals to participate in the workshop should focus on one of the three
topic areas below (or combinations thereof). Given the nature of the
workshop goals, note that we anticipate a focus on theory and method over
system demonstration. 

1. A research issue central to the idea of social computing that illustrates
how social science theory is embedded in technical systems 

2. An area of study critical to ongoing research in social computing 

3. A method for studying social computing. Proposals should not focus on an
implementation of a system. 

Attendees will be accepted to the workshop based on 2 page position
statements on the meaning of social computing and the research issues they
see most cogent to the area, as couched in one or more of the above topic
areas. A focus on how the ideas expressed can help establish social
computing and carry it forward is encouraged. These position papers will be
assembled and distributed to attendees before the conference, with the
expectation that readers will read and comment on them before arrival.
Position statements and attendee bios will be made available through a
groupware application. Each attendee will be expected to comment on at least
one other position paper. In addition, we will recruit and present position
papers from researchers representative of these fields who were unable to
attend the workshop. Using phone and email interviews, we'll query leading
researchers in a variety of disciplines on their perspectives on social
computing, and make these available through the groupware before the
conference begins.  


Deadline for submissions will be September 15. We will screen submissions
for quality and relevance to the workshop. Announcements of acceptance will
be sent on October 1. The ACM GROUP conference starts on November 4, 2007
(which is the day the workshop takes place).

Conference webpage:

Workshop webpage: http://research.microsoft.com/~counts/group07/

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