“Social Computing in 2020” Contest Winners

The Transliteracies Project and the UCSB Social Computing Group are pleased to announce the winners of the Bluesky Innovation Competition on “Social Computing in 2020.”

The worldwide contest was designed to engage undergraduate and graduate students in the newly emerging, interdisciplinary field of “social computing.” Participants were encouraged to imagine how society and technology will interact 10 to 20 years from now – far enough in the future to stretch our imagination of technology, yet near enough to be plausible. Read More »

What is Social Computing?

The social potential of computer networks has come to the fore through the rapid development of such network applications as wikis, blogs, social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, and online collaborative editing suites that encourage people to engage in collective resource-building, action, and work. But most of the focus in industry and the academy has been on discrete technologies, applications, protocols, and interfaces (e.g., Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr, blogs, etc.). When the overall relations between particular technologies and particular social phenomena are addressed at all, they have usually been generalized under such catch-all concepts as “Web 2.0” or “the wisdom of crowds.”

In fact, a whole new field of integrated, interdisciplinary research in digital media has emerged that requires innovative thinking across the disciplines of engineering, computer science, social science, the humanities, and the arts. This new field is social computing.

Definition: Social computing is the use of technology in networked communication systems by communities of people for one or more goals.

— From the working papers of the UCSB Social Computing Group.

Social Computing Workshop (May 30, 2008)

Workshop logo

The UCSB Social Computing Group held a workshop on May 30th 2008 on the present and future of social computing with guests Joan DiMicco (IBM Collaborative User Experience Group), Tad Hirsch (MIT Media Lab), Peter Kollock (Sociology Dept., UCLA), Larry Sanger (a founder of Wikipedia, Editor-in-Chief of the Citizendium), and Nancy Van House (School of Information, UC Berkeley). The workshop was a small-scale, by-invitation-only event designed to facilitate brainstorming.

Workshop Schedule:

For more information, participant bios, readings and links, workshop blogs, and event photos, visit the UCSB Social Computing Workshop Wiki.