The yearly Computer-Supported Cooperative Work Conference organised in Baltimore in mid-February was a goldmine of state-of-the-art research that crosses the boundaries of the social sciences and information technology.
I spoke about a current project that examines the networked hospitality exchange fostered by the Airbnb concept:
- Account sharing in the context of networked hospitality exchange (slides)
- Defining the price of hospitality: networked hospitality exchange via Airbnb.
The conference featured a delightful range of themes connected with the sharing economy in its broad sense:
The conference featured four papers on crowdfunding, which illustrates the swift ascent of the crowdfunding phenomenon into the sphere of interest of the research community. Specifically, the importance of community support and the language and style of campaign messages in the success of the campaign was dealt with in more detail. One paper uses experimental research to compare the functionality of different online crowdfunding websites and the mutual coordination between donors. An analysis of the significance of geographic and organisational distances in the internal crowdfunding of companies represents a more structural perspective.
- Understanding the role of community in crowdfunding work
- The language that gets people to give: phrases that predict success on kickstarter
- Coordinating donors on crowdfunding websites
- Geographical and organizational distances in enterprise crowdfunding
Crowdwork and its reliability and fairness is another hot topic, that raises debate in research circles. Four papers were introduced for this theme as well: an investigation on Amazon Mechanical Turk microworkers, another on their motivations, a third on people receiving commissions through Task Rabbit and GigWalk, and a fourth research paper that examines the threats related to malpractice and deceit in crowd-powered systems.
- Being a turker
- A comparison of social, learning, and financial strategies on crowd engagement and output quality
- The motivations and experiences of the on-demand mobile workforce
- Information extraction and manipulation threats in crowd-powered systems
- Voluntary work and social participation
The conference also featured the topic of combining IT and voluntary work in dealing with crises like natural catastrophes, and the use of social media as part of social participation and influencing political processes:
- Digital mobilization in disaster response: the work & self-organization of on-line pet advocates in response to hurricane sandy
- Designing for the deluge: understanding & supporting the distributed, collaborative work of crisis volunteers
- Integrating on-demand fact-checking with public dialogue
- Tweet acts: how constituents lobby congress via Twitter
- Social media supporting political deliberation across multiple public spheres: towards depolarization
- Hybrid media consumption: how tweeting during a televised political debate influences the vote decision
Interesting panel discussions were held on a different kind of DIY activity and the definition of computational social science:
All the publications introduced at the conference can be downloaded from the ACM Digital Library.
The author is a Demos Helsinki Associate Member, who currently works as a visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkley.