One Login Everywhere
We put some finishing touches on our Kodu and Socl integration. Kodu users now only need their Socl login to share their worlds and make forum posts, and can like and comment on worlds from the desktop client.
Add Your Own Language
Kodu has an awesome volunteer community that has been translating clients into different languages.Previously, users had to install the latest client whenever we changed a language, but now they get the latest & greatest when they start up Kodu. Currently supported languages include: Arabic, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Icelandic, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Welsh. Klingon anyone?
We added karma to the Kodu forums – if you’ve got enough, you can vote up posts! We also fixed some bugs– now games made with the desktop client should work now with the Win8 client, and vice versa. Check out the Kodu Game Lab site for the latest!
Last year, Nate Matias, spend the summer at our lab developing and experimenting with NewsPad, a collaborative editor for neighborhood news articles. Today, together with our work-in-progress paper (to be presented at CHI 2014), we are releasing the source code of the project on GitHub under the Apache license.
NewsPad is a web app that helps communities of people collaborate on news articles, even when they don’t see themselves as writers. It helps people choose a headline, structure their article, and ask others to add material. The software, which supports real-time collaborative editing and content curation, incorporates the best ideas from Wikipedia, Storify, and online text editors. Here’s how it works:
I feel the need to be enticed. To see the world through a new lens – one that’s filled with vibrant colors and jewel tones. I want to go where dreams float on the far side of fashion and fantasy and know that when I come back, my world will forever be enhanced, changed, enlightened.
When we explore Socl, we find ourselves relishing in the limitless creative expression we can inspire in one another. Fashion is one thing, but when shared with friends from around the world, it elevates.
On Socl we have what are called collections. Collections are posts you and the community organize around the subjects you love. When you see a post you like, simply collect it.
Below are a few posts from Tina’s Personal Style collection. Tina is one of our most imaginative community members and her collections are stunning. Have a look…
The importance of reader’s content (images, video clips, stories) is rapidly increasing in journalism as the source of news and as news content. Our research focuses on cooperative news making with the readers. The activity is facilitated by a news organization, currently Metro in the metropolitan Helsinki area in Finland. In 2012, the studied newsroom received 35 000 reader’s photos sent by 30 000 individuals. Majority of the 4000 stories published in 2012 were based on reader’s photos that were used as tip-offs for news in the newsroom. Since 2010 we have studied both reader initiated contributions and carried out field studies with mobile task-based cooperation in which newsroom creates the tasks. We have addressed the following themes: 1) What motivates readers to participate? 2) What influences their participation when using mobile tasks? 3) How to manage the content quality with social feedback? I will address in this talk the main findings from our studies.
Heli Väätäjä is a Researcher and Project Manager in the Human-Centered Technology Group at the Department of Pervasive Computing, Tampere University of Technology, Finland. Her current research interests focus on mobile crowdsourcing of creative content, content creation and consumption in journalism, cooperation using mobile systems, context-awareness, and complex industrial systems. Heli has a multidisciplinary background in human-computer interaction, signal processing, measurement technology, telecommunications, as well as in applied animal behavior. She publishes actively in the fields of HCI and open innovation and is an active reviewer in the field of HCI. Heli has previously worked at Nokia Research Center as a Research Engineer (1995-2007), and as a Research Scientist at Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT, 1993-1995). She defends her doctoral thesis “Framing the user experience in mobile news making with smartphones”in March 2014.
Socl Creativity Goes Mobile - Inside Microsoft Research - Site Home - TechNet Blogs -
Inside Microsoft Research is a blog from Microsoft Research that discusses the computing research projects and computer-science technologies developed by our researchers in 13 labs around the world.
What Can Happen in an Hour of Code? -
How do you spark excitement about computer programming among preteen girls?
“Make me a Hunger Games arena.”
That’s the challenge Kate Miller presented to a group of middle schoolers during last summer’s Penn Girls in Engineering, Math & Science Camp (GEMS) at the University of Pennsylvania, where Miller is a sophomore bioengineering major.
Using Kodu, a visual programming language from Microsoft Research that makes it easy for students to create games, characters, and landscapes, the girls quickly dived into the task of creating a physical environment that drew on their shared interest in popular culture.
FUSE Labs at Microsoft Research is seeking interns for 2014. For these positions, we are looking for graduate students from Computer Science, Information Science, Design, Media Studies, Social Science, and other fields with a focus on social computing and social media.
FUSE Labs is a research and development lab at Microsoft Research focused on the design, study, and development of socio-technical systems. We are a uniquely multidisciplinary team where you have the opportunity to work with developers, designers, and other researchers interested in building systems and studying them critically. Our goals are to contribute to the academic community as well as to invent the next generation of social technologies. Some of the topics that are currently of interest for FUSE Labs are civic media, creative collaboration, informal learning, communities of interest, hyperlocal media, information visualization, and machine learning applied to social data. That said, we are open to a diversity of methodologies.
Last year, Gilad Lotan and I spent some time analyzing the #YoSoy132 protests in Mexico using data from Twitter. Several articles and even books about #YoSoy132 have come out since. For example, De Mauleón wrote an excellent piece for Nexos (in Spanish) that resembled some of our own analysis. Sadly, Gilad and I got busy and abandoned the project, but after this recent conversation, we decided to dig out our notes and post them here in the event that they might be useful for others.
The rise and fall of the “Mexican Spring”
Exactly a year ago, in December 2012, the newly elected Mexican President Peña Nieto took office amid violent protests. As early as May 2012, a number of massive student protests against the then candidate Peña gained a lot of attention on social media, both inside and outside Mexico. The Occupy movement and the international press called these protests the Mexican Spring for its similarities with other “hashtagged” protests. In our analysis, we only focused on the first few months of the protests. Today, #YoSoy132 is only a shadow of what it was, but during the election it was able to accomplish several important victories, including the organization of an online presidential debate (broadcast on YouTube), and the introduction of the issue of media monopolies and media bias to the forefront of the political discussion.
We focused on the origin and spread of the #YoSoy132 student protests by lookign at Twitter trending topics, follower connections, and the content of the tweets. We found that despite the common assumption that the movement appeared “out of the blue,” after an incident involving a candidate’s visit to a university, we can actually trace the movement’s gestation to several months before the trigger incident. Additionally, we found that despite the attempts to link the movement to traditional political groups, i.e. a political party, the movement actually activated typically disconnected groups of people across the political and class spectrum.
We’re combining two FUSE projects, Socl and Kodu (better together, like peanut butter and chocolate!) Kodu is our newest creation experience on Socl. Besides collages, Picotales, BLINKs, and video parties, you can now invent your own games using a simple, visual programming language. Anyone can create with Kodu, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart! Explore worlds from the community on the Socl Kodu channel.
Kodu is free, but you’ll need to download Kodu to get started creating your worlds. Start learning and get ready for Code.org’s Hour of Coding for Computer Science week December 9-15, 2013. Check out collections of some Kodu favorites here:
Kodu Classic Arcade
Kodu Board Games
Kodu Digigirlz 2013
Kodu Imagine Cup
Kodu Rollercoaster Worlds!
More information, tutorials and lessons plans are available on the Kodu Game Labs website.
Write up by Andrés Monroy-Hernández and Elena Agapie, building on the work of J. Nathan Matias
Motivated by the disappearance of local newspapers, this past summer, we started to explore new ways of supporting community news production through collaborative writing tools. The first incarnation of this is NewsPad, a system for neighborhood communities to collaboratively to report on local events such as festivals and town hall meetings.
One of the first challenges we encountered when testing NewsPad in the wild, was the difficulty of bootstrapping these collective action efforts to produce even lightweight articles in the form of lists, also referred to as listicles.
We decided to explore this challenge using on-demand, location-based labor through TaskRabbit. We were able to produce articles about the events in under an hour, and for less than $100. Here we share some of initial reflections after running a few experiments.
Screenshot of report of a neighborhood festival