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Social Network

Table of Contents

Questions and concerns

Plenary notes

Group 7

  • How to create a safe place that's also open?
  • How to attract and retain users?

Group 6

  • What concerns might researchers have for participating in social network environment (IP, reputation)?
  • What is the relationship between scholar/their scholarship in a social networking environment?

Group 11

  • What is it for (in Bamboo context - not an end in itself, but what wider purposes does it serve)? Education & training agenda, knowledge and expertise, etc.
  • How do we manage it so it delivers? (How do we manage it to give the right people access to it/get involved, getting democratic but not too democratic, how does it avoid the extremes of being too selective - peer review - and "an assemblage of rubbish no one wants to read or contribute to")

Group 12

  • What's the purpose of a higher-level social network? Renaming this as a scholarly network might lower the barriers of participation.
  • What is the problem we're trying to solve?
  • This could also support sustainable tools theme in terms of discovery, vetting, reputation of tools
  • How do we mimic this on our own campuses? How can we build on already existing networks rather than starting from scratch?

CJK: Is renaming as "scholars' network" something that resonates more with people?
-The term "social network" can also be an adjective, so I was seeing it as an adjective describing a whole set of things; a "scholar's network" makes sense, but if it's an adjective, we're still talking social connections
CJK: Let's leave it.

Group 6 notes

  • Big challenge because of the disparity of background/age
  • How to bring old traditional resources to the social networking
  • Build upon current human networks
  • Different lenses for showing different models
  • Big challenge to slice based on domains and opt in different
  • What are this SN tools not doing?
  • Access to resources to share across
  • Getting the results instead of accessing the whole thing
  • Human networks to avoid connotations of social networks
  • How to control access, sharing, and propagation?
  • Need to identify the concerns of the scholars? Reputation management? Image building? Stolen IDs?
  • Network of repository/contents instead of persons?
  • How professional societies play in this

Group 11 notes

    What is it for? Discovering expertise? Education & training?

    How might it be constructed and managed to avoid such pitfalls as an excess of bad or useless content, or the opposite extreme, an environment which is so critical and elite that nothing is posted without being vetted and reviewed like a journal article?

Group 12 notes

Social Network (direction #4)
•    does this tie in with the theme of sustainable tools?
•    one thing about the servic-oriented approach, it makes your tools more sustainable; can switch out the technology easily and subsitute it with another
•    need to make sure you can get your data out of the tools and so if you want to change tools you need to be able to get your data out
•    tools etc also need to be integrated in what people already do---this would answer the question of maintencance; find a way to fit with the research that people already do
•    the sharing and finding out about who has used these tools---ie could facilitate discovery and sharing of tools...not just a discovery of people and relationships; is about discovering resources in general
•    what we have on the wiki we need to fill out and continue to work with
•    not sustainable to just list on a wiki - but need an open registry than can be searched from any social networking site
•    also get into the question of who builds it and who maintains it?
•    need also to think about WHY people would use a higher-level social networking tool, one that's not just limited to people in our fields?
•    do we need to think more about what the social network is enabling? is it communicating or is it presenting researchers with their own page? what are we trying to facilitate a network to do?
•    if we could produce the information once and distribute it---this is what an ideal social network would do
•    or, what about vetted discovery? who has used this tool and for what? is it the kind of use that's close to mine and that I consider reliable?
•    note too: google is good at helping you find what you're already looking for
•    alternatively, some kind of topical organization---tag clowding?
•     how do we mimic this on our own campus?
•    also, think about renaming "social network"---perhaps call it academic network? scholarly network? you could use social networks just as a model and build someting quite specific that doesn't have ads etc.
•    to sell it to colleagues, need to think about what problem this social network solves
•    there are ways of thinking about characteristics of social networks; what's really needed is a definition of what would make a scholarly network "scholarly"? what do people want it to do?
•    there is a need to be very careful to not reinvent the monkish nature of arts and humanities practice; are we talking about building something that retains an old way of doing arts and humanities scholarship?
•    maybe what scholarly network means is that it's an easy way to bring together a group of scholars across geographies, disciplines, time and space, to examine/study some group of texts or images?

Risks, rewards and plan

Plenary notes - risks and rewards

Direction name

  • Reflects interest in social network be inclusive of partners who work with scholars
  • "Networking" as part of it being active, creating connections between networks of scholars to enhance scholarship


  • When we looked at themes tied to those, rewards of discovery (other scholars, solutions, opportunities, resources, tools)
  • Talked about connecting networks - not trying to create another competing segregarted group, but something that'd enable the connecting ("hub")


  • Safety and reputation for scholars who join
  • Word "community" came up
  • Would have to be easy to establish the content; intuitive
  • Risk that there is no value in it - has to appeal to senior scholars too
  • Not re-inventing the wheel or duplicating such that there's no value in joining
  • Ensuring relevance


  • Starting light, creating a network of networks and a safe space
  • Would this be a working space? Not at first, but whatever we use as a place for this would have to accommodate growth/functionality; might eventually support work
  • Accommodate visual communication as well as text-based
  • Be able to opt in at different levels; not everyone would want open and inclusive
  • Mentoring - giving access to young scholars

Out of scope

  • Reinventing a whole new platform
  • This afternoon: surveying groups that already exist
  • Diagram of characteristics of successful communities - worth paying attention to Community first, technology last

Plenary notes - plan

My workshop 1 observation: we realized through workshop 1, we identified scholarly practices, tried to get a sense for how humanists do their research
Haven't yet figured out how/why they interact
Networks is about interaction and relationships
Our workgroup tasks: we need to talk more to scholars
Demonstrator: may be asking for catalysts for conversation
How/why do you get together to do work?
Six degrees of citation - how to share citations; do people want this?
How/why scholars connect - not leaving out the learned societies, or duplicating what they're already doing
What's the value added of Bamboo in creating such a network
Finding out what's not doable right now or what's difficult to do - is this something our direction can address?
One model: concierge - a simple, easy profile; bi-directional, can look for other connections
Filters for you the relevant connections (people/tools/resources/etc)
Concept of opportunity for casual conversation - "pub"
Providing toolkit of options so you can do multiple things; work or conversation or finding a citation; can pick and choose and put together in a modular way
See diagram (people in space diagram)
Ways to collect that data that will inform what scholarly interaction is preferred

Group notes

Questions that need to be addressed to shape this direction

  • How to create a safe place that's also open?
  • How to attract and retain users?
  • What concerns might researchers have for participating in social network environment (IP, reputation)?
  • What is the relationship between scholar/their scholarship in a social networking environment?
  • What is it for (in Bamboo context - not an end in itself, but what wider purposes does it serve)? Education & training agenda, knowledge and expertise, etc.
  • How do we manage it so it delivers? (How do we manage it to give the right people access to it/get involved, getting democratic but not too democratic, how does it avoid the extremes of being too selective - peer review - and "an assemblage of rubbish no one wants to read or contribute to")
  • What's the purpose of a higher-level social network? Renaming this as a scholarly network might lower the barriers of participation.
  • What is the problem we're trying to solve?
  • This could also support sustainable tools theme in terms of discovery, vetting, reputation of tools
  • How do we mimic this on our own campuses? How can we build on already existing networks rather than starting from scratch?

Social Networking in Plain English, Commoncraft

Social Bookmarking in Plain English, Commoncraft

RSS in Plain English, Commoncraft

Twitter in Plain English, Commoncraft

What is Web 2.0?

Academia 2.0

Related to Bamboo

This direction closely relates to most of the previously-identified Bamboo themes: discovery, aggregation, engagement, sharing, publishing.

Top priorities to address by W3 (Jan 2009)

  • Learn about how faculty/scholars interact currently - in-discipline, trans-discipline, scholarly societies, mediated/in person, challenges, strengths.
  • Identify ways that existing models for social networking meet/don't meet these needs (gap analysis).
  • Brainstorm project (tool, storyboards, talking points) to demonstrate value/use to faculty.  Use faculty feedback to shape further "demonstrators".


What needs to be done before Workshop Three? (Jan 12)

  • Find out what's already known about scholarly work and social networking 
  • Determine useful questions to ask scholars about scholarly practices and networking. Ask them. 
  •  Build a demonstrator that is part (video?) presentation, part toy that can be tried out/shows benefits w/a small "Aha!" payoff
  •  Seek potential user (scholar) feedback on demonstrator
  •  Adjust proportion of participants to tip balance a little further towards faculty, who are the end users


  • Find out what Bamboo Team already knows about networking in this context 
  • Do a gap analysis to find out what's missing from what's known about what the scholarly networking needs of faculty might be 
  • Fill in these gaps with info about faculty practices and needs 
  • Search for existing video demonstrations that would help show what social networking is 
  • Identify and possibly adapt an existing tool that would be useful to show what intellectual payoff could be (Possibility: Six degrees of citation.)
  • Build a demonstration that incorporates the above
  • Seek and process feedback on the demonstration

Useful Metaphors

  • Drinking from a fire hose (Being overwhelmed when trying to "drink in" information)
  • Concierge 
  • Cocktail party
  • Hubless hub
  • Push Me Pull You

Minimally-processed conversational data

Scholarly Networking, Afternoon Break-out 10/17/08

Jared Johnson, Arno Bosse, Chris Mackie, Tricia Heffernan, Alex Wirth-Cauchon, Joan Getman, Katie Hayne, Charles Blair, Harry Bruce, Allan Hanson, Lisa Schiff, Elizabeth Edwards, John Wallace, Robin Valenza

Scholarly Networking

John:  What we discussed this morning amenable to mashup.

Joan:  Amenable to what we do before applying for grants.

Group call for Roberto @ 2:45!  Messenger dispatched!

Alex:  Would it be useful for Chris's chart to be shared?

Joan:  Part of task is workplan.

Massimo:  Who shares John McKenzie's pessimism among faculty?  (He doesn't.)
One of functions of scholarly networking is providing examples and resources.

Katie:  We have faculty who don't see a way forward:  no one to teach them how to do something.  Desire but not a way to do it.

Chris:  What are the top three things working group should address?
Which make sense in terms of demonstrator?  We should emerge from here providing some guidance to working group.

Katie:  We agree some sort of social working thing is essential.

Lisa:  Survey, analysis, review of what's out there needs to come first.  what's serving well/not well.

Joan:  Someone said to me that's been done w/in Bamboo planning team.

Lisa:  Then they need to share it.  What does Bamboo know about social networking tools, and what do they need to know?

Chris:  Notion of different communities.  What it means to do social networking in a multivalent environment.  Minimize the cost to you of participating in multiple communities.

As an involuntary compulsive user of social networking sites, what I want instead of a hub?

Wants a concierge.  Wants it to know enough about my interests that it goes out and pre-filters.  Wants to get back a summary, a digest w/opportunity to drill down w/links.  Doesn't want social networking but what social networking provides.

Assuming that he wants to participate in some of these communities, but right now he's drinking from a fire hose.  

Joan:  Where is the conversation going on?  Do I have to go to a society that I may not be welcome in?  Or does the conversation happen in the Bamboo space?

Chris:  Access.  Most you can hope for Bamboo to get out of the way to let communities set their own access standards.  

Evolve a mechanism for knocking on the door in a new conversation.  Not that hard to do technologically.  Needs to be made seamless & effectively effortless.

Joan:  Easier scholar to scholar.  Harder for multidisciplinary team to have a conversation.

Alex:  An argument for the separate social space?  Or saying ASA should allow access to librarians?

John:  Have we heard from enough scholars?   To do item.

Joan:  My research partner doing work on how humanities scholars do their work.

Patrick:  Ties to education group.  

Massimo:  @ various levels in profession.

Chris:  Domain specificity.  Not necessarily junior/senior but cross-disciplinarity.
Scholarly networking rather than social networking.  You can't take away anything from my social networking diagram.

White boarding.  Calendaring.  

What do you need to add to commercial concept of social networking to arrive at something that seems effective scholarly networking?

Joan:  Not necessarily a working space from the start.  

Chris:   Facilitate reference sharing.  

Robin:  Cocktail party.

Elizabeth:  Important stuff @ conference is the informal, unstructured ways of eavesdropping.

Arno:  Twitter is a model.
John:  We're not all sitting here typing @ each other.  Getting out of that model.  Things don't come across correctly via email.

Integrating a voice technology.

Chris:  Visual, too.  Cost not an obstacle anymore.

Second Life.  Virtual simulation.  Move around in the world, interact as if you're in a space together.

Harry:  Another challenge to concept of pace of technology.  He has a faculty member from Xerox park, now embracing study of information & the quality of life.  Reexamining trajectories of innovation & where they might be taking us.  Deep philosophical look @ whether or not this is a place we want to go.  Idea of humanities scholar & time for contemplation.  Technology ramps it up, potentially interferes w/pace that activity needs.  Depth of thought, different time-frame.

Arno:  Concept of "just b/c we can doesn't mean we should."
Bamboo needs to do things that are impossible or virtually so w/o technology.
We can already do a lot of social networking stuff, which aspects are we going to computerize?

Chris:  Arrogant of us to pick an choose.  Just put tools and allow communities of practice to use them.

John:  IGoogle, where you assemble the bits & pieces that work for you.  You can take out the audio, for example, if it interferes w/your thinking.

Arno:  We may not disagree.  Borges' short story about man who set out to create a map of the world, and the map the same size as world itself.

Chris:  Part of what Bamboo has to be about is autonomy.

Alex:  Institutions where for the bulk of the year your access to scholarly conversations, esp. expert ones, have to be mediated.  Ways of enriching that.  

Chris:  Scholarly communication might need to invite learned societies.  Conceptual reason:  they're already loci of social networking.  Pragmatic reason:  they're in middle of technological change, losing annual meeting and journal, two revenue schemes.  If Bamboo wants to arrogate one of their other tasks, social networking, this could be perceived as hostile if they're not invited in.

Allan:  Facilitate interdisciplinary conversations, since learned societies already take care of disciplinary ones.

Joan:  Starting point:  Start w/gap analysis.  Add features to that.  Citations, white-boarding, special needs for humanistic disciplines.  

Pathway to finding someone.  Visualizing (human) networks electronically.  (Six degrees of separation?)

John:  Given what's supposed to happen in workshop 3, what do they need to have then?

Joan:  We want a demonstrator.  

John:  Maybe they make a video about what they know.

Joan:  Ask scholars about how they want to interact.  

Chris:  How do you manage the information flow you have to deal with as a scholar?  Pressure to keep up.

Alex:  Hydrant of relationships.  Hydrant of material, information, products.  What is the relationship between them.

Joan:  A filter.  Concierge.  Finds relevant path.  

Alex:  Resource to develop people associated with it, tools, can discover anything.  

Massimo:  Can have a profile.

Chris:  Machine learning tool; it learns from your choices.

[Arrival of Roberto.]

Jared:  Currently, there are so many tools; don't know where those are & how to find them.  Bamboo a directory, but not like a static webpage w/a list of links.  Similar to concierge model.  Maybe the only thing I input into Bamboo profile is what I work on, not my dog's name or what I ate for dinner last night.  Predefined tags/categories, and allow people to create their own.  Conversation doesn't have to happen w/in Bamboo, but this is a tool for me to get there.

Joan:  Light beginning.  Networking piece is the starting point.

Want a demonstrator project.

Elizabeth:  Like TiVo where you teach filters by clicking, "Yes, I like this" about specific programs, and it learns what you like.

Chris:  Piece of technology like a concierge.  Keeping aware of scholarly communication in the same way that a hotel concierge can act for you in recommending a show or restaurant and connecting you in the same way that s/he can get you a ticket or reservation.

Charles:  Wheel and spokes metaphor useful.
Discrete conversation spaces like circles.  E.g., Arno sends me technological info so I have another weapon to help solve their problems.

Concierge is a hubless hub.

Push model:  RSS feed/aggregator is our current model.
Pull model:  Concierge.  Can monitor spaces and pull threads intelligently.

Chris:  It's a little tendentious.  Semantic web:  about managing info flow.

Hubless hub exactly right.

What it is that the people using the technology actually want.

Social networking structures conversation around the technology from the beginning.

John:  Let's get it up there visual.  

Charles:  Let's move to cocktail napkin.  Lots of good ideas get done that way.  

Lisa:  We don't have enough faculty in the room.  We're speculating.
Goal: a room w/a lot more faculty.

John:  We can put something out there to see if it fails.

Harry:  There are already things like cocktail party conversations and tools out there.  Most faculty don't like those.  But what they're looking for is a conversation that maps to practice.  Want to get in a more substantial conversation, not trivial cocktail party.  Find individual at the cocktail party.

Massimo:  Invitations are good, too.

John:  Milestones:  figure out what faculty want to do.

Joan:  Want to be able to connect w/team that Bamboo represents:  want to hear from people solving their problems, librarians, IT.  Network has to connect us.

Allan:  That's v. important.  Faculty are communicating w/one another quite nicely.  

Joan:  Around digital humanities challenges.

Group: Around anything they want.

Patrick:  Needs to have a more educational aspect.  Educating on how to use collaborative tool, esp. w/in intelligensia.

Chris:  Entry needs to be effortless.  Something of value to you w/no help.

Joan:  Criteria for demonstrator?
We want a prototype of network, need criteria, requirements.

Alex:  What combination of drawing & language would bring more faculty?

Chris:  Lots of faculty intrigued by social networking.

Allan:  As it stands, each institution can have 3 individuals, one of whom needs to be a faculty, the other two librarian and IT. Should we adjust this?

Arno:  Look @ themes on wiki already put together by faculty.  This is the workshop where the faculty will have most say.

Massimo:  Different composition of teams.  Three faculty, one IT.

Chris:  Time btwn.  This wkshp & next to invite extensive faculty comment.  

Joan:  Would have to be visual for my faculty.

Chris:  Demonstrator that gives us multimedia tools.  Tool for opening conversation w/faculty.

Joan:  Seeing a tool would be helpful.  Mashup that's not just Facebook.

John:  Need something that'll get us more feedback.

Arno:  3-minute videos on what wikis and blogs are.  Animations.  Maybe a video.  What is social networking, done at a level of abstraction?  Cartoony.  The people who did these will do them for other things.

Demonstrator request:  find what other people have done to explain social networking @ a high level in video and information format.  Give it to us.  When do we need that by to go to faculty and get feedback.  


Joan:  Faculty like to see the challenge.  Building some education piece driven that way.  

John:  Small suite of demonstrators?

Chris:  Mechanism to accept feedback.

Robin:  Can we include an existing toy that someone can try?  Not new software.  Six degrees of citation.

Arno:  Something similar to CiteULike?

Katie/Roberto:  Q. about concierge.  Once concierge tells you, where does cocktail party happen?

Alex:  Might happen in ASA's space.  

Chris:  You need to be able to go where the party is.  

Roberto:  The party happens when you get there.

Katie:  There might also be a party happening w/in Bamboo?

Massimo:  Bamboo sends out invitations to party.
We all have institutional pages.  If they can talk back to each other.....

Chris:  You'd update your own vita more often if it automatically put the word out.

Katie:  Needs all this functionality to have party there as well.  Chat, etc.

Chris:  @ least connect out to institutional sites.


View flipcharts


  • Discovery/sharing
  • Social support/capital
  • Exemplary model (attractive/usability)
  • Social networking fatigue
  • 'SOCIAL' stigma (scholarly? education?)
  • Connecting networks
  • Mentoring
  • Hub of networking? (no time to learn new system)


  • Contribute/distribute
  • Vision is important, technology should follow
  • Social networks evolve (provide tools, enable capability)
  • Draw on existing networks
  • Mailing lists
  • Discovery - resources, solutions (software, human)
  • Is it a working space or a networking space?
  • Copyright/IP issues? -> levels


  • Group/levels of access (e.g. Facebook)
  • Professional networking (e.g. 'Linked In')
  • Easy to use
  • How much should it link out? Or be the central space
  • It should evolve... provide the tools and it will happen organically

e.g. Sunoikisis (virtual classics) dept
Odd case b/c it has incentive
e.g. TEI list (Text Encoding Initiative)
Facebook works becauase it's easy, it's brief & discrete, small grabs
Wiki has o parameters
What is the value?


  • Share research - how to make a safe place to do that
  • Attractive to senior/junior scholars
  • Summaries a good idea
  • Current wiki is not a social networking tool
  • Scholars need to benefit
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Levels of access
  • You-tube like widgets


  • Community
  • Bamboo network
  • Networking (active) scholars & scholarship
  • Commons/scholarly commons
  • Metaphors - grow, organic