Blog for the course offered at Teachers College, Columbia University during Fall 2005

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Outcomes of Nov. 1 session

I present the following as a way to summarize what we did during our class session on November 1, and for the benefit of those who could not attend.

We agreed to pursue the Design Patterns of Social Computing (DPSC) project as our final group project for this course (I'm trying to avoid the use of the label 'social software' in the title of the project so as not to tie it to a label that may become obsolete in the future. Feel free to suggest other names for it).

We believe that this project will be of benefit to us (the primary audience) as well as to the larger community of researchers interested in Social Software issues. We recognized the potential for this project to continue to grow in the future (beyond the semester, and beyond the group of people in the class), and to become part of a larger community portal of folks interested in Social Software/Web 2.0 issues.

We will be using the wiki that Jonah has made available for the DPSC project. The 'Course Wiki' (the Seedwiki we have been using as a workspace to brainstorm ideas, and where the blog directory is also located) will remain active for reference purposes, but it will probably not be used much for the remainder of the semester.

We identified a number of problems that social software is addressing, and we started to formulate one or more design patterns for each. I will summarize the problems below (in no particular order) and, where appropriate, I will list the names of the folks in the class who were assigned to begin a Design Pattern page in the wiki for that particular problem.

  • Ubiquitous presence / Globalization / Ability to work across space and time
  • Filtering of information / Archiving / Aggregation of efforts (Jonah and Nabeel)
  • Wisdom of crowds / Archiving (Molly and Matt)
  • Collaboration / Mentoring / Tutoring / Apprenticeship
  • Dissemination / Reaching larger audiences / Distribution / Self-publishing / Decentralization (Robert and Steve)
  • Opportunities for social discovery / Relationship management / Keeping in touch with existing communities
  • Trust building
  • Personalization / Customization
  • Democratization of production, distribution or decision making / Decentralized knowledge (Marion and Dan -- I think?)
  • Long tail / Lowering critical mass threshold
  • Anonymity / Identity / Motivation
  • Interest-based community building / Connectivity (Anthony and Mariana)
  • Catalyst for participation

This list is by no means inclusive, but it's a start.The problems listed above that do not have names assigned to them are up for grabs. They also need to be incorporated into the DPSC wiki. Please note that while the people identified above are assuming responsibility for the first draft of the Design Pattern page for a particular problem, consequent edits are the domain of the whole group. It's a collaborative project.

As far as the template for each design pattern, we agreed on the following (borrowed from DiGiano et al (2002), Collaboration Design Patterns: Conceptual Tools for Planning for The Wireless Classroom):

  1. Name: The name and a short summary of the pattern
  2. Problem: The problem the pattern addresses, including a discussion of its associated forces
  3. Example: A real-world example demonstrating the existence of the problem and the need for the pattern
  4. Context: The situations in which the pattern may apply
  5. Solution: A resolution of the problem stated in terms that could be applied in many situations
  6. Implementation: The fundamental solution principle underlying the pattern
  7. Technological Assumptions: What infrastructure must be in place for the implementation to be practical
  8. Variants: A brief description of variants or specializations of a pattern
  9. Consequences: The benefits the pattern provides, and any potential liabilities
  10. See Also: References to patterns that solve similar problems.

We did not discuss any particular structure for the DSPC wiki, but agreed to let the structure emerge as we work.

Per Jonah, remember that you will need to login to the DPSS Wiki in order to make any changes to it (contact him for login information if you don't remember what it is). Also, remember to create a profile page.

p.s. At the end of class I made a comment regarding the allocation of your efforts for the remainder of this course. Between your IE project and the DPSC project you will have plenty to keep you busy. However, I do want you to continue posting your Individual Assignments, even if they become shorter and more informal, as I think it is important for you to keep reading. If it makes it easier, you should focus your Individual Assignments on the class readings (the books), and not necessarily try to link them to the online articles being submitted to the ccte tag.

I'm looking forward to seeing what shape the DPSC project takes. Keep up the good work.


Blogger Jonah said...

I did a bit of work organizing the new wiki.

You can subscribe to changes here:

Please look it over and see if it makes sense.

2:15 AM

Blogger Steve said...


The link you provided only displays the xml document tree in my browser. Is it a general problem or there is something I am doing right?


12:21 PM


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