Tuesday, November 09, 2004

CSCW - Tuesday update

I have a bunch of notes from earlier sessions, but they need a lot of cleaning up before they are blog-ready. I plan to get those posted tomorrow morning before the sessions start, but there are no guarantees.

I used the IRC backchannels today. The experience was pretty hit or miss. From what I saw, all of the action tended to be on one channel, which typically was the channel corresponding to whichever room had the highest concentration of people who'd contribute rather than lurk. Whether it was a certain critical mass or specific instigators who drew others in, I don't know. While there were the expected humorous asides and some minor snarkiness, the conversation was generally pretty focused. The fact that all of it was being logged undoubtedly helped set the tone. The back channel really added to the experience of the last panel session, enriching the experience and eventually contributing points to the main discussion. We even had a panel member participate.

Before the panel session, Liz Lawley and I discussed the disconnect between what's happening between in this academic arena and what's emerging in technology. That became even more clear as the panel progressed. For instance, social network theory is much more robust than any sort of technology mainstream attempt to model it would have you believe. Why does this gap exist, and what, if anything, is anyone doing about it?


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