2009 Sociological Association Meetings – Internet Sociologists Meet (CITASA @ ASA09)

CITASA Logo @     

The 2009 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting was held in San Francisco, California, August 8-11.

The ASA attracts thousands of sociologists, a subsection of whom have  a passion for the study of the Internet and its many forms of social impacts and uses.  The Communications and Information Technology Section of the American Sociological Association (CITASA) is the group that gathers many forms of social science research on the creation and uses of information technology.  This year’s meeting included two CITASA panels, round tables, a business meeting with awards, and a (windy!) boat ride through San Francisco Bay and beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

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The CITASA sponsored papers at the conference are listed below.  The range of work illustrates the continued interest in social science studies of the impacts of information technology.

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2009 Group Processes Meeting: Panel in memory of Peter Kollock (Also, details about Yi-Tan Call on 9/14)

On August 7, 2009 at the American Sociological Association Group Processes meeting, a memorial for Professor Peter Kollock was held.  Several of Peter’s colleagues were in attendance and spoke about Peter’s life and work.  (Further below are some details about a conference call held on September 14th that focused on Peter’s work and impact.)

Prof. Karen Cook, Stanford University, Department of Sociology
Dr. Karen Cook, Stanford University

Prof. Toshio Yamagishi, Hokkaido University, Department of Behavioral Science
Dr. Toshio Yamagishi, Hokkaido University

Prof. Jodi O'Brien, Seattle University, Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work
Dr. Jodi O’Brien, Seattle University

2009 - 08 - 07 - ASA - Peter Kollock Memorial - Marc Smith
and myself.

Earlier in the year, in March 2009, many people gathered at De Neve Plaza at UCLA to remember Peter Kollock.

Peter Kollock Memorial Service at UCLA

On Monday, September 14th, at 10:30 PST, I met on the phone with Jerry Michalski and other participants for one of his regular weekly Yi-tan conference calls to discuss the scholarship and personal legacy of Peter Kollock.  In this podcast, I spoke about my years of working with Peter to apply the models of collective action dilemmas, common pool resources, cooperation, and conflict to the creation of Internet social institutions and resources. I discussed Peter’s work with his colleague Jodi O’Brien, and the lasting impact of his research into studies of cooperation, collective action, and common goods as well as his impact on students, business, and the field of social science.  Jodi and Peter were colleagues and co-authors for many years, creating a widely used text The Production of Reality: Essays and Readings in Social Psychology as well as several other publications.  I worked with Peter while studying for my Ph.D. at UCLA in Sociology.  Peter and I wrote about the sociology of the Internet together and co-edited a book Communities in Cyberspace.

I will post a few links to some of Peter’s work that has had the most impact on me in upcoming posts.

Listen here!

Conference: Enterprise 2.0 in Boston, June 22-25

2009 Enterprise 2.0 Conference

The upcoming Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston June 22-25 features several presentations of possible interest. George Dearing and I will both be on panels and, centrally, there is a presentation from Telligent co-founder Rob Howard about what is new at Telligent Systems:

Enterprise 2.0: Work, Productivity and ROI Today’s ever-changing workforce requires that enterprises tackle an array of shifting demands. Adapting to the various ways people collaborate and work together without actually being in the same place is now an organizational necessity, not just an option. Join us for this informative session as Rob Howard, Founder of Telligent and an innovator of online collaboration strategies, presents Enterprise 2.0 and social computing in the context of work, productivity and ROI. Enterprises that have embraced collaborative computing and analytics are realizing results in increased workforce productivity, expanded input and insight from customers and partners, and now have the ability to manage and report on the value of these efforts. Join us for this session and walk away understanding how you can prepare today for the future of work.

Speaker – Rob Howard, Co-Founder, Telligent

George Dearing from Telligent and I will both be on additional panels at the conference.  I am looking forward to the chance to present along with Kate Niederhoffer from Dachis again; we presented at Web 2.0 on the topic of “Beyond Buzz: On Measuring a Conversation” which I think was well received.  Details below:

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Event: June 10, Online Community Unconference 2009

2009 - Online Community Unconference

For those in the Bay Area there is an event next week of particular interest to community managers, platform developers, researchers, marketers, and software developers: at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View on June 10th is the 2009 Online Community Unconference.  This year 300-400 online community and social media professionals will attend with 50-60 collaborative sessions devoted to social media and online community topics.  

“The Online Community Unconference is a gathering of online community practitioners – managers, developers, business people, tool providers, investors – to discuss experience and strategies in the development and growth of online communities.”

I attended last year and found it to be a valuable use of time: many practioners in the social media space will attend and some will self-nominate and present on a wide range of topics of relevance.  I plan to be there again this year, hope to see you there!

Event: Maker Faire 2009


I attended the Maker Faire down the hill in San Mateo at the County Fair Grounds.

The event is the gathering of the many forms of craft, tinkering, building, mashup, hacking, and experimental communities.

Here are some photos from today’s event.

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My highlights: the full sized replicas of TV and movie robots from Lost in Space and Forbidden Planet; the littlebits snap together circuits, the LED bicycle wheel displays, the Telsa coils (of course), the flame throwers (of course), and the rolling metal ball robots.

It was a well attended event with many great displays.

ICWSM 2009 – Pictures and Posters

The recent 2009 ICWSM conference featured research into the nature of a wide range of social media.

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Some highlights:
An Examination of Language Use in Online Dating Profiles
Meenakshi Nagarajan, Marti Hearst

Event Detection and Tracking in Social Streams
Hassan Sayyadi, Matthew Hurst, Alexey Maykov

Gephi: An Open Source Software for Exploring and Manipulating Networks
Mathieu Bastian, Sebastian Heymann, Mathieu Jacomy

Information Diffusion in Computer Science Citation Networks
Xiaolin Shi, Belle Tseng, Lada Adamic

Considering the Sources: Comparing Linking Patterns in Usenet and Blogs
Mary McGlohon, Matthew Hurst