Video: Peter Kollock lectures on collective action dilemmas and the internet

Peter Kollock at 2005 Group Processes meeting

Below is one of the few videos of the late sociologist Peter Kollock giving a lecture that I know of.  It is a great example of Peter’s style: entertaining and rich with ideas and insights. The video captures Peter’s talk at Howard Rheingold’s Stanford class on “Literacy of Cooperation” – a review of computer-mediated collective action in Winter 2005. Peter speaks about strategies to avoid or resolve social dilemmas, covering the Tragedy of the Commons and Prisoner’s Dilemma situations, and applying these concepts to social media and Internet collective action.

A podcast from the Yi-Tan conference call was devoted to a discussion of Peter Kollock’s work.

If you know of additional videos of Peter, please send them my way!  marc-at-connectedaction-dot-net

Marc Smith joining Media-X at Stanford as a Visiting Scholar

I am joining Media-X at Stanford University as a visiting scholar.

Stanford University

I will work with Martha Russell and Chuck House in applying social network analysis to social media research.

You can email me at!

Our next event will be in late July and will focus on the use of social media analysis for mapping patterns of investment and innovation.

Book: Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice

2009 - ODBook-site-logo

The Second Conference on Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice (OD2005/DIAC-2005) was held at Stanford University May 20-22, 2005. From that event there is now a book,  Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice, edited by Todd Davies and Seeta Peña Gangadharan (CSLI Publications, November 2009).  All content in the book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

I will call out a few of the many interesting chapters, one of which I contributed to:

Chapter 5: Friends, Foes, and Fringe: Norms and Structure in Political Discussion Networks (John Kelly, Danyel Fisher, and Marc Smith, pp. 83-93)

And two from colleagues who report on tools for facilitating political debate and decision making:

Chapter 6: Searching the Net for Differences of Opinion (Warren Sack, John Kelly, and Michael Dale, pp. 95-104)

Chapter 26: Online Civic Deliberation with E-Liberate (Douglas Schuler, pp. 293-302)

The book is a great guide to the many ways computer-mediated interaction technologies are being used to build consensus or tear it apart!

2009 - December - Online Deliberation Book Cover

Summer 2009 – Stanford Media X Workshop: New Metrics for New Media: Analytics for Social Media and Virtual Worlds

Stanford University - Media X Program

I will lead a workshop with Martha Russell on social network analysis of social media as part of the Stanford Media X Summer Institute on New Metrics for New Media: Analytics for Social Media and Virtual Worlds this Summer.  I am looking forward to working with the folks at Media X which hosts a range of cutting edge events devoted to exploring the newest trends in technology and society.


It is also worth noting that the traveling exhibit “Places and Spaces” will be displayed through the MEDIA X program at Stanford until December 18th, 2009.  There is a May 18, 5-6:30pm Reception in Wallenberg Hall on the campus.  The show includes an image I worked on with Danyel Fisher and Tony Capone that represents an overview of Usenet newsgroups.

2005 Usenet Treemap

The show includes a variety of information visualizations and maps that illustrate the utility of graphical representations of complex concepts and terrains.  From the Media X site:

“The Places & Spaces exhibit, at Wallenberg Hall has two components. The physical component is available for display and allows for close visual inspection through high-quality prints. It is meant to inspire cross-disciplinary discussion on how best to track and communicate human activity and scientific progress on a global scale. It includes hand-on science maps for children. The online counterpart provides links to a selected series of maps and their makers along with detailed explanations of why these maps work.” [Link]

There will be a reception following the May 18 Seminar that will include Jeff Heer and students, Katy Borner (virtual presence) and other mapmakers of the Places & Spaces exhibit.