alt.projects and emergent needs in mature open collaborations

The ongoing story of how the world’s largest encyclopedia gets written comprises several distinct historical eras. An initial linear growth phase, followed by an era of rapid exponential growth, and over the past 7 years a maturation phase characterized by slower growth in article creation and a gradual decline in regular participation among the core community of Wikipedia editors.

Crowd researchers have learned a lot about collaboration from studying Wikipedia during the “peak editing” era. Peak editing (after like peak oil) roughly comprises the years 2006 – 2008 when Wikipedia’s increasing popularity created a huge demand for new content, and there was plenty of encyclopedia work to go around.

Now that Wikipedia is a mature collaboration, does it still have anything new to teach us?

One key to Wikipedias success during this period were WikiProjects, collaborative workspaces (and the teams of workers that inhabit them), focused on coordinating particular kinds of work. Traditionally, that work of WikiProjects has involved editing articles within a particular topic, like Feminism or Military History.

Graph showing the number of editors participating in WikiProjects over time.

Conventional Wikipedia WikiProjects focus on encyclopedia topics ranging from Medicine to Public Art.

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HCOMP 2013: Call for Papers

We invite you to join us for the first AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP-2013) on November 7-9, 2013 in Palm Springs, California, USA

http://www.humancomputation.com/2013/

Submission deadline for Papers: May 10, 2013
Paper Format: AAAI, up to 8 pages
http://www.aaai.org/Publications/Author/author.php

Submission deadline for Workshops and Tutorials: May 10, 2013
Submission deadline for Posters & Demonstrations: July 25, 2013
Format for Proposals, Posters and Demos: AAAI, up to 2 pages

HCOMP is aimed at promoting the scientific exchange of advances in human computation and crowdsourcing among researchers, engineers, and practitioners across a spectrum of disciplines. The conference was created to serve as a key focal point and scholarly venue for the review and presentation of the highest quality work on principles, studies, and applications of human computation. The meeting seeks and embraces work on human computation and crowdsourcing in multiple fields, including human-computer interaction, cognitive psychology, economics, information retrieval, economics, databases, systems, optimization, and multiple sub-disciplines of artificial intelligence, such as vision, speech, robotics, machine learning, and planning.

Submissions are invited on efforts and developments on principles, experiments, and implementations of systems that rely on programmatic access to human intellect to perform some aspect of computation, or where human perception, knowledge, reasoning, or physical activity and coordination contributes to the operation of larger computational systems, applications, and services. Submissions will be reviewed by a program committee of leading researchers from multiple areas – the complete committee list is available online.

The conference will include presentations of new research, poster and demo sessions, and invited talks. A day of workshops and tutorials, as well as a two-day CrowdCamp, will follow the main conference.

We hope you’ll submit your best work to HCOMP and look forward to seeing you in Palm Springs.

Eric Horvitz (Microsoft Research) and Bjoern Hartmann (UC Berkeley)
Conference Chairs

Announcing HCOMP 2013 – Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing

Bjoern Hartmann, UC-Berkeley 
Eric Horvitz, Microsoft Research

Announcing HCOMP 2013, the Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing,  Palm Springs, November 7-9, 2013.  Paper submission deadline is May 1, 2013.  Thanks to the HCOMP community for bringing HCOMP to life as a full conference, following on the successful workshop series.

HCOMP 2013 at Palm Springs

The First AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP 2013) will be held November 7-9, 2013 in Palm Springs, California, USA. The conference was created by researchers from diverse fields to serve as a key focal point and scholarly venue for the review and presentation of the highest quality work on principles, studies, and applications of human computation. The conference is aimed at promoting the scientific exchange of advances in human computation and crowdsourcing among researchers, engineers, and practitioners across a spectrum of disciplines.  Papers submissions are due May 1, 2013 with author notification on July 16, 2013.  Workshop and tutorial proposals are due May 10, 2013.  Posters & demonstrations submissions are due July 25, 2013.

For more information, see the HCOMP 2013 website.

Crafting Positive New User Experiences on Wikipedia

Logo of the Teahouse by Heather Walls. Wikimedia Commons.

Jonathan T. Morgan, University of Washington
Siko Bouterse, Wikimedia Foundation
Sarah Stierch, Wikimedia Foundation
Heather Walls, Wikimedia Foundation

Imagine this: you have just been hired by a major global company, and you can’t wait to get to work. During orientation, you are told that the first assignment you turn in will be dumped in the trash in front of your eyes, and that your first interactions with your new co-workers will come in the form of a series of terse and increasingly strident emails telling you that you’re doing things wrong, and hinting that further violations may result in your immediate termination.

How excited are you, now?

The scenario above reflects a typical new editor experience on Wikipedia, minus the orientation part. To address these issues, we designed a peer support space on Wikipedia called the Teahouse. The Teahouse helps onboard new editors by introducing them to the community in a positive and engaging way, teaches them the ropes of editing and gives them the help they need to become productive contributors.

Screenshot of the main page of WP:Teahouse

The Teahouse: a peer support space for new Wikipedians

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Call for Papers: ACIS 2011 Sydney Crowdsourcing Track

I am delighted to announce that the ACIS will have a crowdsourcing track this year. The Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) is the premier conference in Australasia for Information Systems academics. The conference covers technical, organisational, business, and social issues in the application of Information Technology (IT). In 2011, the 22nd ACIS will be held at the University of Sydney, Australia. The conference will run from Nov 30th to Dec 2nd. Continue reading