Lexicon 2013

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The community lexicon -- an exercise in collaboratively creating useful knowledge

This lexicon is for listing and defining words and phrases from our texts and conversations that we want to know by the time we finish the course. The co-teaching teams take the lead each week by entering a set of words and phrases before, during, and immediately after our class meeting about each set of texts. Co-teaching team also creates two exemplary definitions within 24 hours of our class meeting.

During the week between class meetings, it is up to all of us to fill out the lexicon by collectively editing this page. Add words, define words, correct, edit, expand definitions, add links. Organize the words by topical or alphabetic order. Format the entries. If each member of the Comm 182/282 2013 learning community contributes a small amount, in the aggregate our efforts will add up to something useful for all of us.

It is natural to feel hesitant about editing the words of another learner. The media for collaborative asynchronous editing have not existed until recently, so the practices of collective composition have not been part of schooling. But the Web, Wikipedia, YouTube, and other platforms are strong signals that knowing how to instigate and participate in online social production is an increasingly important literacy



Roots and Visions 2013

==Roots and Visions lexicon 2011== <-----ATTENTION LEARNERS, CAN YOU DO THIS WELL?

==Roots and Visions lexicon 2012== <-----ATTENTION LEARNERS, CAN YOU DO THIS WELL?

ARPA -- The Advanced Research Projects Agency, a former agency in the Department of Defense that funded the creation of the ARPAnet.

ARPAnet -- One of the world's first packet-switching networks that became a precursor for the Internet. It was originally intended to make communication between research and information hubs more efficient. It was also on of the first networks to introduce the now-standard TCP/IP protocol in packet-switching.

Augmenting Human Intellect -- The title of Douglas Engelbart's 1962 paper, which introduced a conceptual framework for understanding how computers could be used to extend the ability of humans to think, communicate and solve problems: "By "augmenting human intellect" we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems. Increased capability in this respect is taken to mean a mixture of the following: more-rapid comprehension, better comprehension, the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex, speedier solutions, better solutions, and the possibility of finding solutions to problems that before seemed insoluble." Prior to this, computers were seen to be machines for scientific calculations or business data-processing.

Augmentation Means-- things made to extend human's natural capabilities (how we communicate)

4 classes:

1. Artifacts -- physical objects, to provide for human comfort, to help them manipulate things or symbols

2. Language -- how people communicate the pictures in their heads

3. Methodology -- methods someone uses to organize their goal centered activity

4. Training -- conditioning human needs to make his artifacts, language, and methodology effective


How Humans Used Concepts to Evolve Successfully:

Concept Manipulation -- humans evolved above lower forms of life by being able to think of abstractions and grasp concepts

Symbol Manipulation --humans learned to represent particular concepts in their minds with specific symbols; ex: remembering the number of sheep you count instead of each individual sheep

-Manual, External, Symbol Manipulation -- ability to externalize symbol manipulation; ex: using a pencil and paper to draw a map of the farm

-Automated External Symbol manipulation -- computer being able to execute a wide variety of processes upon parts or all of these images in automatic response to human direction; ex: using augmented reality to find your present location on the farm


The WELL - The WELL is among the first virtual communities to exist. It grew out of the Whole Earth Catalog and its members were primarily working professionals in tech from the Bay Area. The WELL stood as an early example of a gift economy.

Boundary Object -- Professor Turner's term to describe an artifact that enables collaboration across boundaries. Boundary objects should be a single medium that is consistent in all aspects. If the same object or medium fails to have the same, consistent meaning to a certain group, it stops being a boundary object - the Internet therefore cannot be a boundary object. An example of a boundary object would be a map. A radiotelescope is a boundary object between physicists and astronomers. An electron microscope is a boundary object between physicists and biologists. Were the online posts and collections of posts boundary objects for the different networks that came together on the WELL, Usenet, and the Web?

Trading Zone --Just like different tribes could come together at a market place and trade their special goods, elite scientists also have trading zones in which they share their ideas. Each individual or group contributes a good and/or idea at these trading zones.

"'Counterculture'" == A grassroots movement against the large institutions that had dominated American political, economic, and cultural life for decades, including the government, big business, and the church. This movement was largely at its peak during the 1960s and 70s, with the advent of the Civil Rights Movement, the Feminist Movement, antiwar sentiments during Vietnam, the gay rights movement, and the Communes in Northern California. While one section of the movement prioritized political change, another prioritized cultural change. These two were often intertwined – artistic movements like psychedelic rock were as much a reaction to prevailing social norms as they were political statements. This mostly entailed "freeing people's minds" from the predispositions, stereotypes, and prejudices that society had imposed on them. Much of counterculture arose as a condition of the economic prosperity white middle-class youth experienced, allowing them to focus their energies upon political and social issues that they otherwise had ignored. The Bay Area, particularly San Francisco, was an especially popular physical hub of the counterculture.

Douglas Engelbart -- An engineer whose early work in human-computer interaction brought forth the invention of the computer mouse as well as foundations for the Internet and graphical user interfaces. His research focused on using computers to augment human interaction and intellect. He also invented hypertext, which became critical for the organization of websites.

Mother of all Demos --Douglas Engelbart's 1968 demonstration where he typed words onto a screen using a computer, wooden mouse, and type writer. He did a live demonstration of experimental computer technologies.

Gift Economy -- A marketplace where members disseminate certain resources, such as information and job opportunities, without expecting any type of direct compensation.

Virtual Community --defined by Howard Rheingold as "a new form of technologically enabled social life." Rheingold first wrote of virtual community after using the WELL, where he found that he could talk to people that he had never met and establish surprisingly intimate relationships. The idea of a virtual community means that cooperation and emotional connection is possible even as technology progress seems to physically separate us. In a virtual community, people exchange information and/or emotional support.

Whole Earth Catalog -- A magazine that served as the de facto voice of the counter cultural movement in the 1960s and 1970s. The Catalog was largely made up of contributions from individual subscribers, such as product reviews, news stories, and opinion pages. The Catalog helped unite and connect the geographically disperse countercultural movement. The catalog was also an important precursor to The WELL that was popular in the 1980s.

Network Forum / Network Entrepreneur -- network forums serve as forums in which one or more entrepreneurs gather members of multiple networks, allow them to communicate and collaborate, and so facilitate the formation of both new networks and new contact languages. From this definition, network forums can serve as a boundary object since that is where members of multiple members collaborated while still having an attachment to their home network and also as a trading zone since they became places where new networks were forged. Non-media examples include think tanks, conferences, and open-air markets.




Imagining Community

Community: There are close knit clusters within a larger network of individuals who share a similar interest, geographic proximity. People may be a part of many diverse communities - there are no number limits. However, the extent to which an individual associates him or herself to a community is key to defining where one belongs. Communities include both "real" and "virtual" connections made online and offline.

Group: A tightly knit network (people share the same first degree connections). Our class has settled on a general consensus that groups are subsets of communities. Individuals are more attached to and feel a greater sense of belonging to groups than communities in general.

Neighborhood: Neighborhood can be defined by geographic and social components [1]. (NOTE FROM INSTRUCTOR: I WANT TO SEE MORE THAN A LINK TO A DEFINITION] A community centered around proximity, whether is be geographically proximity or a virtual hangout. A neighborhood need not necessarily involve much social interaction, as discussed in Oldenberg's paper on third places, though there is a nostalgic social ideal that revolves around having a third place in each neighborhood where people can informally interact.

Network: According to Mark Granovetter, a network consists of both strong and weak ties in order to connect a mass amount of people. Everyone is connected through a network whether they are closely related to one individual or have a 3rd degree connection with someone else.

Gesellschaft: A community that is based upon networks and formal relationships. As a whole, the Gesellschaft consists of more loosely bound, sparsely knit individuals; it acts as an umbrella for many of the different groups that are more tightly-bound. In a Gesellschaft an actor sees the social group as a means of furthering his or her individual goals. The laws of a Gesellschaft are not necessarily based on morality but rather by convention and rational action. Gesellschafts depend on formal relationships such as contracts, corporate charters, constitutions. Corporations, big cities, nation-states are gesellschaft-like.

Gemeinschaft: A community that is based upon intimate, informal, cooperative, and mutual relationships. Gemeinschaft's can consist within Gesellschafts. (Is a Third Place such an example? Think of the coffee house in the TV show Friends or the bar in Cheers). In a Gemeinschaft, an actor sees himself or herself as a means of helping to further the social grouping's goals. Small towns, extended families, guilds and clans are gemeinschaft-like.

Networked individualism: the individual is the autonomous center and the individual connects, communicates, and exchanges information with multiple users at the same time. Networked individualism is in contrast with the conventional social arrangements formed around large hierarchical bureaucracies and small, densely knit groups. Networks are looser and more fragmented and allows people to more efficiently solve problems and meet their social needs because people can now get real-time information and have several different types of people that they turn to for certain needs. Pre-internet, people interacted as groups (i.e. "My family knows this group of people from our church." Since the advent of the Internet, people have been more easily able to communicate one-one-one, leading to a trend towards networked individualism.

Network Analytic Perspective: Look at social networks to study (eliminating location problem and distinction btw group membership, etc. Network analysts can study a more diversified set of structural phenomena, such as the density and clustering of a network, etc. Network Analytic Perspective does not focus on studying the information of each individual - the community they are a part of, their interests, their demographic, etc. This type of research is more based on the dynamic of relationships and connections between people.

Virtual Communities: the extension of our social networks through computer networks. Time and space become less of an obstacle for communication, and as such communities are based more on common interests than on geographic proximity. It becomes easier to communicate with large groups of community members, and to bring unconnected community members into direct contact. There is potential for increasing the density of interconnections among clusters of network members within communities as a result.

Third Place: A place that exists outside of work and home, in which people can relax and engage in casual social interaction. A third place is ideally a neutral location and is, by nature, inclusive because it has no formal criteria for membership or exclusion. In the same vein, Third Places are levelers of social equality. The main, attractive feature of a Third Place is the regulars (the people the regularly frequent the location), who provide conversation as the main activity. Because conversation is the main event, the physical location itself has a low profile and are most lively in the off-hours, that is after work. Because a Third Place is familiar and ideally provides psychological comfort and support, it has a quality of "homeness".

Social Network analysis: a way to study community without presuming that it is confined to a local area. Focuses on social relations and social structures regardless of location and whoever they may be with. Starts with a set of network members (also known as nodes) and a set of ties that connect some or all of the nodes. This type of analysis views social structure as the patterned organization of these nodes and their relationships. This approach doesn't not assume neighborhood solidarities and avoids individual-level research perspectives.

Tightly bound: most relations stay within the same set of people. Tightly bound communities have stronger ties and are based on the ability to depend, respect, and be responsible to one another. Groups are tightly bound because everyone within the group can communicate with one another; there are personal ties within every member of the group. Increasingly, tightly bound groups are not defined strictly by proximity, but rather by affiliation regardless of distance.

Loosely bound: relationships don't stay within the same set of people but are rather spread out across. As a result, people cannot depend on the goodwill or social control of a solidary community if they need help but have to instead look at individual ties and manipulate them in order to get what they need. Communities are loosely knit because there is not a strong tie between each of the members. A loosely bound community consists of both weak and strong ties between all members.

Sparsely-knit: Ferdinand Tonnies believed that sparsely-knit relationships would be the dominant type of relationships in industrial cities; these ties would be more between friends and acquaintances instead of relatives and neighbors. This lack of cohesion would lead to specialized, contractual exchanges replacing communally-enforced norms of mutual support and respect.

Densely-knit: A kind of communal relationship in which most people are directly connected. People share the same first degree connections, and they are more likely to support one another because of a predetermined emotional attachment they have to one another instead of a contractual obligation.

Whole Network: most appropriate for studying defined, bounded units such as organizations, nation-states or clearly-bounded neighborhood. In modern parlance, this terms becomes much more nebulous in terms of examining an individuals net associations--it remains useful, however, for contextualizing sub-networks associated with the related individual or entity.

Personal (or Ego-Centered) Networks: allow researchers to look from outside in (from a specific person's focal point); defined from the standpoint of focal persons (a sample of individuals at the center of their own networks); researches can study community ties whoever with, wherever located, and however structured so that the focus is on the social nature of community rather than looking at community in spatially defined areas. Researchers can then examine networks that span outside of the typical neighborhood.

Coercive Appropriations: Direct predatory behavior by interpersonal (robbery) or institutional bullies (expropriation); usually happens under the legitimating guise of imbalanced market exchanges/state extractions for unequal institutional distributions.

Self-Provisioning: Making and growing things in one's household; rests on an infrastructure of market and community exchanges that provide advice, skills, and materials. The readers and contributors of the Whole Earth Catalog were interested in this kind self-sustainable lifestyle.



Virtual Community and Real Life

*Media Multitasking Media multitasking involves using TV, the Web, radio, telephone, print, or any other media in conjunction with another. Also referred to as "simultaneous media use," or "multicommunicating," this behavior has emerged as increasingly common, especially among younger media users. The most common example cited is a fighter pilot, he has to steer, shoot, fly, breathe, and make quick reactionary decisions. Today, with the rise of media use in the public, the general public is using miultiple media at once. To watch a TV show and text at the same time is not uncommon. -when multitasking, rood blood cells rush to frontal cortex

*Continuous Partial Attention - A bottom-up approach to how people distribute their attention. in a digital environment, people are constantly monitoring the influx of information and prioritizing what they should pay attention to. they never fully focus on one task, keeping their peripheral attention engaged so that they do not miss more critical information if it appears. It is debated whether this tendency allows one to process more information all at once, a techno-social darwinism to taking place, or whether it leads to an inability to focus on one thing adequately when it is required (Dr. Hallowell’s “Attention Deficit Trait”).

*Crowdsourcing- inviting a group to collaborate on a solution to a problem. Coined by Jeff Howe of Wired magazine in 2006 to refer to the internet practice of posting an open call requesting help in completing some task. Opposite of "credentialing,", which relies on top-down expertise. Crowdsource thinking believes that the more expert we are, the more limited in conceiving what the problem is and thus more limited in finding the answer. Davidson from Duke University used it in the iPod experiment and later used it as a component in the contract grading as a form of quality control. Twitter's logo and much of Mozilla's browser were created through crowd sourcing. Crowdsourcing is best suited to tasks that can be divided into many smaller tasks and parceled out to volunteers. Galaxy Zoo, in which more than 200,000 volunteers participate, has resulted in the classification of tens of millions of galaxies. British citizens were invited to comb through the expense reports of members of Parliament to surface abuses.

*Information Overload: Too much information about a topic leads to "information overload". With the mass amounts of information available to people via the Internet (Google), we are no longer held accountable for "knowing" information.

*Response Selection Bottleneck

*Acquired Inattention: In the midst of constant task-switching and multitasking, acquired inattention is the ability to selectively ignore tasks that are not being prioritized at a given moment. Acquired inattention is a phenomenon that may counteract the ineffectiveness and distraction of multitasking.

*Historical examples of “voices without censorship”

*Slow Everything Movement

*Forster – English novelist and short story writer who authored "The Machine Stops", a 1909 short story that paints a technology-powered, post-apocalyptic picture of a world in which people connect to one another via a technology known as the speaking apparatus. Everyone, including main characters Vashti and her son Kuno, live underground in "cells" and thus rarely move outside to the surface of the earth and interact with one another physically. They occupy a global society that uniformly worships The Machine, which comes to assume the role of an omnipotent deity that all humans are subservient to.

*Present-day equivalent of:

  • Lighting Apparatus L
  • machine chair - any physical location where a mobile device or laptop can be accessed- Starbucks, haha
  • “...presently she could see the image of her son, who lived on the other side of the earth, and he could see her.”- FaceTime, Skype, etc.
  • pneumatic post
  • air-ship - In the sense of traveling in isolation, iPod headphones may be a present-day analogy
  • isolation switch - there is no single present-day switch, but the equivalent would be some form of physical isolation, away from wifi and cellphone networks. The self-control app that blocks you from sites like Facebook and Reddit.

*Vashti’s lecture: “The clumsy system of public gatherings had been long since abandoned; neither Vashti nor her audience stirred from their rooms.” - Online classes

  • “This was the Book of the Machine. In it were instructions against every possible contingency. If she was hot or cold or dyspeptic or at a loss for a word, she went to the book, and it told her which button to press.” - Google works for this. Why is this society so technologically advanced, and yet they still have user manuals?

*The Machine: The title of E. M. Forster's dystopian short story as well as the central control system for life. Many parallels can be drawn between the dependence of the characters in the story on The Machine and our own dependence on technology. A main theme is the question of how "real" mediated interactions can be. Forster makes clear in his short story that physical interactions are fundamentally different from mediated interactions and that mediated interactions lead to a physical and emotional distancing between people. Written in 1909, the story makes some very accurate and striking predictions of what mediated communication can or could be.

*Book of the Machine

*Attention blindness-the fundamental structuring principle of the brain; when we are concentrating intensely on one thing, we miss other things around us. It may help us with focusing on a single problem and solving it, but it can also be a limiting factor by making us inattentive to other things.

*Participatory learning-how we can learn together from one another's skills

*Cognitive surplus-"more than the sum of the parts" form of collaborative thinking that happens when groups think together online. It is also the name of Clay Shirky's novel. In an interview with Shirky in Wired -Shirky says that "Somehow, watching television became a part-time job for every citizen in the developed world. But once we stop thinking of all that time as individual minutes to be whiled away and start thinking of it as a social asset that can be harnessed, it all looks very different. The buildup of this free time among the world’s educated population—maybe a trillion hours per year—is a new resource. It’s what I refer to as the cognitive surplus" (Shirky). Read the full interview here [2].

Here is an article that best describes the thesis of Cognitive surplus [3]

"Shirky's hypothesis is that a lot of the 20th century stuff we used to take for granted -- most people didn't want to create media, people didn't value homemade and amateur productions, no one would pitch in to create something for others to enjoy unless they were being paid -- weren't immutable laws of nature, but accidents of history. The Internet has undone those accidents, by making it possible for more people to make and do cool stuff, especially together" (Doctorow).

*Collaboration by difference-"antidote" to attention blindness; problems require diversity in insights and backgrounds in order to be solved;

*20th century education-

*iPod experiment- Apple gave iPods to a select number of universities, including Duke, so that the schools could develop ways to use them for educational purposes. At Duke, all incoming freshmen were given their own devices, as well as any students in classes in which the professors decided to incorporate iPods into the curriculum.

*Contract grading - On the first day of class, students choose their grade. They sign the contract, a witness signs it, and the professor signs it. It is an agreement based on honor and motivation.

*Adaptive Executive Control-

*Kluge by Gary Marcus-

*Cognitive Issues with Multitasking- When we multitask we force our brains to switch tasks constantly. Different parts of the brain are responsible for different types of processing and when we multitask, these functions get mixed up and information isn't stored properly. Therefore, by multitasking, our cognitive functions have difficulty processing information that may be more easily stored if we weren't forcing task switches.

*Boyd’s view on multitasking-

*Rheingold’s view on multitasking- Rheingold takes a fairly positive stance on multitasking. He acknowledges its detriments but also notes how it can be helpful at the same time. He ultimately makes the point that multitasking in any extreme is not good, but a middle-ground of being able to multitask in certain settings could help cultivate a future of good learners.

*Rosen’s view on multitasking- "Multitasking is now shorthand for the human attempt to do simultaneously as many things as possible, as quickly as possible, preferably marshalling the power of as many technologies as possible." [4] Rosen believes that being able to pay full attention to one thing at a time is a more important skill than being able to do several things at once.

*Attention Probes- Activities used during a presentation that force the audience to assess where their attention lies. One attention probe is to randomly ring a bell during class. At the time of the bell, each person writes what they were thinking about when the bell rang. If they were thinking of something that has nothing to with the lecture, they write on a red sticky. If they were thinking of something mildly having to do with the topic, a yellow sticky. And if they were paying attention, they write their thoughts on a green sticky. (colors are subject to change depending on preference). At some point, either after the bell or at the end of the talk, everyone places their sticking on the wall. This demonstrates how many people were actually paying attention.

*Infotention- combination of mental discipline and technical skills to help use the web better.

*Mindful Decision-Making: Making a conscious decision. Thinking before acting.



Identity and Presentation of Self

  • context collapse - compilation of many audiences and many "contexts"; expels the ability to have multiple separate identities when addressing these audiences EX: your mom tries to friend you on Facebook and you need to decide if you would like to speak to your mother in the same way you speak to your friends online.
  • invisible audiences Invisible audiences. When i stand here speaking to you, i have a sense of my audience (minus that camera that's staring ominously at me. And you know that in this room you're supposed to pretend to be paying attention. And i know that when everyone is staring at their computer only that i'm losing you, but if you're staring at me and then down to the computer and back and forth that you might be taking notes or arguing loudly in the backchannel. I have learned to gauge the audience and i need this to speak appropriately. In mediated public spaces, there's no way to accurately gauge who is present or who will be present as the conversation spirals along.
  • accrual of social capital-benefits derived from interaction with members of one's social network; SNS are particularly well-suited for the accrual of bridging social capital because users are connected to large, heterogeneous networks of loosely connected individuals, which would give them more opportunities not found if they were only around like-minded or similar individuals
  • General Disclosiveness Scale- a scale used by Jessica Vitak from the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland to capture the multidimensional nature of disclosures through social media. Participants were asked to think about their posts that go to everyone in their Facebook friend network and to respond to questions related to amount of disclosures and intended disclosure.
  • Intention of disclosure- whether the user is consciously aware of what they are revealing when they are self-disclosing on Facebook.
  • Incantation for the masses
  • identity formation
  • integration and coupling
  • societal contribution - Identity formation is simultaneously a personal, internal process as well as one deeply affected by social context and social interactions. Society and culture mold many aspects of our identities and oftentimes offer particular "acceptable" or "normal" identities for people to assume.
  • life stages
  • myth of selective sharing - The notion that it is practically impossible to create any digital information system that is secure, so If any of your digital information is something you would rather not share publicly, you may want to rethink the idea that you can keep your information private. [5]
  • context awareness Knowing your audience and adapting your behavior to adhere to what you believe their standards to be.
  • impression management Another phrase for self-presentation. The strategic construction of self to guide others' perceptions of you favorably. Offline we deal with impression management by modifying our behavior and self-presentation in different social settings to different degrees. Online, impression management is forced to work in slightly different ways because people from many different social contexts can stumble upon or interact with static online identities. In addition to making impression management more complicated, this phenomenon opens up the possibility for context collapse.
  • Bulletin Board Systems
  • Friendster – The social platform that Rosen identifies as the precursor to Myspace. Established in 2002, it was born out of a desire for its creator, a man, to meet "attractive women". Friendster was unlike other online communities before it because it used a model of social networking known as the "Circle of Friends", which involved people inviting friends and acquaintances to join their networks. The platform garnered millions upon millions of registered users by the next year, but Myspace soon usurped it.
  • small world experiment/Milgram: This experiment done by Stanley Milgram defined the phrase "six degrees of separation". He performed an experiment in which he had people relay information packets starting from either Omaha, Nebraska and Wichita, Kansas to the destination of Boston, Massachusetts. He found that on average it only took 6 connectors to get from these two cities, meaning that our social networks were larger than we thought. This emphasized the small-world phenomenon that our social networks are actually characterized by short paths.
  • Duncan J Watts - A principle researcher at Microsoft Research. Among other things, "he has attracted attention for his modern-day replication of Stanley Milgram's small world experiment using email messages and for his studies of popularity and fads in on-line and other communities."[6]
  • protean selves- The idea that the self is mutable and highly contextualized; there is no true self, but rather a series of responses to certain stimuli.
  • authenticity - existential dimension, being true to your inner self. An increasingly explored concept in the era of fractious representation and multidimensionality. Authenticity, both online and offline, can be difficult to ascertain. Because fewer social cues can be communicated online, authenticity in online spaces becomes even more difficult to assess. Online users, however, often have a tendency to assume authenticity, even in unfamiliar spaces.
  • the age of reproducibility - Given the ease with which information and media can be losslessly copied and shared, online users are able to reproduce information and communication flows with relative ease. This reproducibility also applies to identity management and the formation of new identities, whether authentic or inauthentic.
  • “Zuck” versus “Moot” On the topic of identity, Zuckerberg says there is one, single self whereas Moot suggests we have multiple identities. Moot's assumption is based on the fact that in real life, we are no more authentic and monolithic in our representation than we are online.
*offline/online "If your speech is not confined to the context you are in—but avialable to a potentially unknownable audience—you are online"

Social Networks


  • Push: A 'push' is when the media chooses what information to send our way. Mass communication can now seem individualized based on our past searches, purchases, views, etc. The media uses the background of our online play and targets us by pushing information that large companies think we would be interested in.
  • Pull: A 'pull' on the other hand, is when we as individuals actively seek information from media. We search what information we desire and pull from all the media that is available to us. As more and more information becomes available to through media, we have an abundance of options to choose from.
  • Osmosis: The process by which people learn and take in information without focusing on learning activities or particular topics of interest. Learning through osmosis has become more prevalent through digital media and online social networks because people are increasingly exposed to loads of information pushed by nodes on their social network graphs.
  • Milgram experiment: This tested the hypothesis that there are six degrees of separation between any two individuals in the world. Milgram tested this by sending letters from various cities in the Midwest to locations on the East Coast and seeing how many stops they had along the way. There have been variations of this experiment that employ digital media like email.
  • Small-world networks:
  • Long Tail" Someone plz edit this, just wanted to get it started: The idea that as interested become less mainstream, there are fewer people who share these interests. The internet allows you to access these people at the long end of the tail.
  • Power Law Social networks have a few nodes with millions of connections and millions of nodes with very few connections.
  • Clout: An informal measure of a person's social influence. A person with a lot of clout will be meaningfully connected to many people in diverse networks.
  • Social Network Analysis :"Social network analysis views social relationships in terms of network theory, consisting of nodes (representing individual actors within the network) and ties (which represent relationships between the individuals, such as friendship, kinship, organizational position, sexual relationships, etc.) These networks are often depicted in a social network diagram, where nodes are represented as points and ties are represented as lines."[7]
  • Social Network : "A social network is a social structure made up of a set of social actors (such as individuals or organizations) and a set of the dyadic ties between these actors. The social network perspective provides a set of methods for analyzing the structure of whole social entities as well as a variety of theories explaining the patterns observed in these structures." [8]
  • Social Network Surveillance: The process of observing or analyzing social activity and connections through a person's social network. It is the use of social network analysis to form a graph of connections.
  • Role-Based vs. Place-Based Relationships e.g. role based: you call a doctor for advice on a sickness vs you are "in town" and want to meet up with an old friend
  • Networked Operating System (Wellman and Rainie)
  • Community vs. Network
  • Social Affordances of Personal Networks
  1. Broader Bandwidth
  2. Wireless Portability
  3. Personalization
  • Degrees of Separation: This phrase refers to the number of contacts within a network it takes to get from Person A to Person B. When Stanley Milgram ran his experiment in 1961, he found that on average people had 6 degrees of separation. This means, that between any given two people, it will likely take around 6 people to get from start to finish. Look to the "Oracle of Bacon" as a more culturally-relevant example of this.
  • Networked Individualism This entry already exists in the section on Imagining Community. Is there a way to link to it?
  • Computerization

Social Capital


Putnam Reading:

  • collective action- traditionally defined as any action aiming to improve the group’s conditions (such as status or power), which is enacted by a representative of the group.
  • communal republicanism
  • feudalism-a social system that was structured around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange of service or labor.
  • free rider" problem- free riders are those who reap the benefits of a public good without contributing themselves.
  • power
  • reciprocity- social norm of in-kind responses to the behavior of others; in cultural anthropology, i tis defined as a way of defining people's informal exchange of goods and labour.
  • trust alienation

Johnson Video:

  • Engines of Creativity
  • Historic Increase of Connectivity - ability to exchange ideas and build off each other's hunches. "Chance favors the connected mind."
  • Innovation
  • Innovative organizations - want increase in creativity and better ideas
  • Recurring patterns - foster an environment for innovation
  1. Slow hunch: when ideas are incubating
  2. Breakthrough: when the incubating ideas have an opportunity to express their value. Often the hunches collide and form a sum greater than their parts.
  • Tim Berners-Lee: British computer scientist who spent 10 years developing the world wide web. His first conception of the web was a way to store his own personal data.

Acevedo Reading:

  • Community Informatics (CI): a field that draws closer to the idea of network capital. Simpson [2005] refers to social capital constructed via CI, clearly making use of ICTs but not entirely due to ICTs and e-networks
  • The Development Project
  • Free/Open Source software (FOSS)
  • Human development
  • Information Age
  • Network capital
  • Network fatigue syndrome
  • Open-Source Approach
  • Reciprocity: Reciprocity is a characteristic of social capital. One's social capital can be achieved by having reciprocal relationships with people in your network. For example a strong connection would have a stronger reciprocal relationship because there is more trust involved in their actions. If I were to give someone a $100 loan, they would be more likely to return the favor in the future because they know I am trustworthy. My actions would lead to an increase in social capital.
  • Social Capital: a measure of social cohesion, and one of the indicators of the overall ‘wealth’ of a country/society (together with financial, human, natural and physical capitals)
  • The World Bank's definition of 'Social Capital': the institutions, relationships, and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society's social interactions. (…) . Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions which underpin a society – it is the glue that holds them together




Rotating Credit Association: According to Putnam it is "a group who agree to amke regular contributions to a fund which is given, in whole or in part, to each contributor in rotation."

Collective Action

  • The Tragedy of the Commons- the depletion of a shared resource by individuals acting in their own best interests, despite the general understanding that the resource in question is vital to the well-being of the group in the long term.
  • The Commons- a general term for shared resources in which each stakeholder has an equal interest. Studies on the commons include the information commons with issues about public knowledge, the public domain, open science, and the free exchange of ideas -- all issues at the core of a direct democracy.
  • Common-pool resources (CPRs)- natural or human-made resources where one person's use subtracts from another's use and where it is often necessary, but difficult and costly, to exclude other users outside the group from using the resource
  • Four Properties Which Tend to Make a Strategy Successful

1. avoidance of unnecessary conflict by cooperating as long as the other player does 2. provocability in the face of an uncalled-for defection by the other 3. forgiveness after responding to a provocation, and 4. clarity of behavior so that the other player can recognize and adapt to your pattern of action.

Conditions for Stable Cooperation

1. The individuals involved do not have to be rational: The evolutionary process allows successful strategies to thrive, even if the players do not know why or how.

2. Nor do they have to exchange messages or commitments: They do not need words, because their deeds speak for them.

3. Likewise, there is no need to assume trust between the players: The use of reciprocity can be enough to make defection unproductive.

4. Altruism is not needed: Successful strategies can elicit cooperation even from an egoist.

5. Finally, no central authority is needed: Cooperation based on reciprocity can be self-policing.

6. For cooperation to emerge, the interaction must extend over an indefinite (or at least an unknown) number of moves. For cooperation to prove stable, the future must have a sufficiently large shadow. This means that the importance of the next encounter between the same two individuals must be great enough to make defection an unprofitable strategy.

7. In order for cooperation to get started in the first place, there must be some clustering of individuals who use strategies with two properties: The strategy cooperates on the first move, and discriminates between those who respond to the cooperation and those who do not.

"'3 Necessary Conditions for Human Cooperation'": (1) Likelihood of meeting in the future (2) Ability to recognize each other (3) Record of past behavior

  • social dilemmas– situations in which individually reasonable behavior leads to collective disaster
  • gift- (1) the obligatory transfer, (2) of inalienable objects or services, (3) between related and mutually obligated transactors.
  • "'gift versus commodities'" - "The neoclassical theory of commodity relations proves that impersonal forces of consumer demand should be allowed to determine which firm should be the most costly of the economically viable firms in a given market. When the level of demand is high, even high-cost firms become economically viable." "Gift exchange, like commodity exchange, involves balanced reciprocity between pairs of trading entities. That is, each side to the exchange relation is expected to experience an equivalence of value, somehow defined."[9]
  • "'future reciprocation'" - A driver of contribution to the public good commons online. In other words, if a person contributes positively to another person or group, there is an expectation that a future contribution in return will also be positive. This is also true for negative contributions.
  • "'generalized exchange'"- a benefit give to a person is reciprocated not by the recipient but by someone else in the group
  • Game Theory- the study of strategic decision making with regards to intelligent, rational decision makers. Utilized heavily during the Cold War for nuclear brinksmanship studies.

"'Types of Games'": (1) Cooperative/ Non-cooperative: A game is cooperative if there are binding commitments. Communication is allowed in cooperative while in the non-cooperative, it is not. (2) Zero-sum/ Non-zero Sum: The choices made neither increase nor decrease the gain or loss. The total benefit always adds to zero. Non-zero sum games has net results greater or less than zero.

  • The Prisoner's Dilemma-a game theory study that shows how individuals may not cooperate, even though it may be in their best interest. The Prisoner's Dilemma is an example of a non-zero-sum game because both parties involved will be left with gains or losses that are greater than or less than zero.
  • Human Flesh Search- a form of collaborative online detective work, the point of which is usually to identify someone who has committed some sort of offense. The term is a direct translation of the Chinese phrase "renrou sousuo." It is distributed researching online that has been used for many purposes including exposing corruption, nationalist sentiments, scientific fraud, and entertainment related issues.
  • production function- Relationship between the proportion of the group contributing to a public good and the proportion of the public good that is produced.
  • privileged groups- Groups in which an individual is able and willing to pay the costs of providing a public good by himself or herself.
  • public goods- goods that anyone might benefit from, regardless of whether they have helped contribute to their production. A public good is defined by two characteristics. First, it is to some degree indivisible in that one person's consumption of the good does not reduce the amount available to another. Second, a public good is to some degree non-excludable in that it is difficult or impossible to exclude individuals from benefiting from the good – one receives the benefits of a national defense system regardless of whether one pays taxes.

Public Sphere

  • Public sphere: An area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action. The definition of the public sphere has shifted throughout the years because the space for discussion has moved from physical places like the market and coffee shops, to a more virtual environment online.
  • Civic media
  • Old civics vs. new civics
  • Transparency: Transparency, as used in science, engineering, business, the humanities and in a social context more generally, implies openness, communication, and accountability. Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. [10]
  • Public Opinion
  • Group Polarization: The tendency for groups to make decisions that are more extreme than the initial inclination of its members. It is still unclear whether the myriad of resources the Internet pushes away from group polarization or further reinforces this behavior because people look for and return to information that they agree with.
  • General Interest Intermediaries
  • Participatory media: Referring to the definition of participatory journalism, participatory media can be described as media where the audience can play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating content.[1] Citizen journalism, citizen media and democratic media are related principles.[11]
  • Public forums vs. private forums
  • Disclosure
  • Self-Regulation
  • Subsidy
  • Public sidewalk
  • Unanticipated encounters
  • Individual Design
  • Daily Me
  • Enclaves
  • Consumer Sovereignty
  • (Online) Social cascades
  • Balkanization/Specialization
  • Denialists
  • Importance of shared experiences
  • Links
  • Critical Publicity
  • Jurgen Habermas: A German sociologist and philosopher who is best known for his theories about communicative rationality and the public sphere. Habermas believes that the public sphere saw a decline due to commercial mass media, the welfare state, and the self-interested individuals.
  • coffeehouse discourse
  • Media globalization
  • Technocapitalism- the synthesis of capital and technology