Americans’ normative understanding of work is imploding. Throughout most of the twentieth century Americans equated landing a job to a lifetime of smooth sailing. In recent decades, faith in gainful employment has collapsed, and other models are emerging to fill the void. The peer economy is one such model.Whether by radio, by newspaper or by screen, you cannot miss it. Stories abound about hobbyists who sell crafts on Etsy. Dwellers use Airbnb to rent out parts of their living space to travelers. Ordinary people who use their cars as private drivers for a few hours a day. This is the peer economy. At its base are online, peer-to-peer marketplaces that enable people to monetize skills and assets they already have. Peer economy platforms equip suppliers or providers with tools that empower them to transact with strangers and, in turn, depend on these transactions for ongoing income.I lay out the expanse of the peer economy and why it is so exciting. The flexibility of working in the peer economy brings in many people who are defined out of the traditional workplace—homecarers, the elderly, the mentally disabled, alongside the underemployed college graduate. Powering this momentum on a macro level are investors, companies, corporations, scholars, policymakers, and more. On the micro-level, however, there are very real risks, and I will detail known problems in the space, including tax remittance, regulatory skirmishes, liability, and operational costs.Finally, the peer economy’s expanse is also why it is so confusing. Peer economy, sharing economy, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing… liberal use of these terms have led to widespread misunderstandings. I suggest that inaccurate terminology leaves the peer economy vulnerable to criticism and peer economy users in limbo as policy begins to take shape.
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.
[Talk] Computational Sociology—Digital Traces in Online Places: Methods, Software, & Applications—Thu 10/310 months ago - permalink
This coming Thursday, Ryan Acton, a computational sociology professor at UMass Amherst, is coming to give a talk on his work investigating “digital traces” online. Ryan has been studying network dynamics on websites such as epinions.com, and last.fm. For example, he’s been analyzing group formation around concerts advertised in last.fm and built an R package called scrapeR to collect data directly from R.
UPDATE: Video of this presentation is now available online.
Next week we have Alex Schulz from the Technical University of Darmstadt who will giving a talk about his work on using social media data along with machine learning, and semantic dictionaries (i.e., WordNet), to automatically detect small scale incidents, such as car crashes, shootings, and fires.
I saw Alex present a paper co-authored with Petar Ristoski at ICWSM during a really interesting workshop titled When the City Meets the Citizen. In that paper they analyzed Twitter data from Seattle and Memphis. One of their findings was that average citizens (labeled I and blue in the figure below) were often the first to report shootings (53% of the time), much earlier than other people that one would expect such as Emergency Management Organzations (EMO), journalists/bloggers devoted to emergencies (EMJ), general journalists/bloggers, or other types of governmental and non-governmental organizations (ORG).
Talk Announcement — Narrating with Networks: Making Sense of Event Log Data with Socio-Technical Trajectories — Fri 8/1611 months ago - permalink
Breaking news events are in red, articles about recent but non-breaking news events are in blue, and articles about historical events are in green. The x-axis is time and the y-axis is the number of articles in the giant component.
- The Tiny Icon Factory is a tool and gallery for the anonymous creation of black and white low resolution icons. With over 200,000 anonymous and uncensored contributions in under two years, The Tiny Icon Factory is an ongoing exploration of creative expression.
- PictureXS was an anonymous picture aggregator. It featured an embedded tracing tool, a self-regulated censorship system, and tags. Before it was turned off in January 2011, PictureXS had collected over 30,000 pictures, 1000 drawings and 500,000 tags, reporting activity from across the world.
- OpenStudio (2005 to 2008) was a pioneering experiment in creativity, collaboration & commerce. Participants created and sold artwork in an online marketplace using an embedded drawing tool and virtual currency.
Can we augment and enhance crowd behaviour using automated systems?
Hi! I’m Nathan, a summer intern at FUSE from the MIT Media Lab where I’m a PhD student. When we’re not posting adorable Blinks and supercut video parties to So.cl, FUSE is also a research group that asks questions about the future of social experience online.
Two weeks ago, we received a visit from Tim Hwang, who gave a talk on the role that bots may come to play in social networks. Here’s what he shared with us (you can watch the video here).