This week, we enjoyed a lot from Wikis a la carte Panel (it can also be found at iTunes; see http://itunes.iu.edu). I learned so many research concepts from this panel such as finding topic you devote to it, looking for data that is a lot and available, and everybody relate to it (which is common that grand mom knows). Dr. Bonk also reminded us to think about the right place and the right time to conduct a research besides excitement of research itself and its easily recognition by people. I am of interested in the second presentation, “Analysis of Wiki and Communities of Practice (CoP)” introduced by Noriko Hara. She tried to answer the questions such as what the norms of behaviors of Wikipedia users are and what similarities and differences among Talk pages, Wikipedia Talk pages, and User Talk pages are. One new technical term I learned is “Trolls Behaviors”, which means “repetitive harmful action, intentionality to cause harm, ignoring Wikipedia policies, community involvement, hidden virtual identity, and work in isolation.” I did not realize hidden virtual identity was one of Trolls Behaviors until I learner from this panel. The conclusion of her study is that community wellbeing (such as handling of vandalism and blocking/unblocking access) impacts sustainability of CoPs Handling of vandalism.
Among this week readings, what interests me most is the study written by Bryant at al. It’s a research about how Wiki participants shift from novice to Wikipedians. The study uses Legitimate Peripheral Participation to explain how apprentices become members of CoP physically and socially and what barriers they might need to face with. Vygotsky’s Activity Theory is a great theory used in a systematically socio-technical system as a set of six interdependent elements. However, it’s a pity that seeing few concrete relationship between this theory and the research objectives (maybe I should say research findings). It’s clear to understand transformation of each interdependent element in Activity Theory, but it is not clear enough for us to see those mutual interdependencies in the triangle diagram. To me, the most powerful of this theory should be the explanation of what happens to a small part might affect the whole and how it affect. But in this article, we need to “imagine triangle twisting and bending as transformations in one dimension and then another stretch and pull the rest of the triangle.” Although I know it’s not the emphasis the authors concern, it would be perfect for me if they provides the great structure- Activity Theory with integrated explanation of relationship among those findings. I am especially surprised by one of the findings which is about Transformation of Subject, says in the move from newcomers to Wikipedians, “goals broaden to include growing the community itself and improving the overall quality and character of the site.” It seems like Wikipedians view Wiki as a community or a business they really care and devote to. Another interesting point is that Wikipedians view their participation on the site as membership in a community
Another reading I have read for this week is Viegas, Wattenberg and Dave’s study on “The challenges and successes of Wikibookian experts and Wikibook novices…” which is similar to the first topic in today’s panel. Finding of Wikibookians concern most their contribution and sharing to Wikibooks is analogous to the finding related to Wikipedians in the previous paragraph. The other paper I pay attention to is “Studying cooperation and conflict between authors with history flow visualizations” conducted by Viégas at al. I learn most knowledge about Wiki such as history flow, user interface, implementation notes and related work etc. from this article. Their design of history flow’s visualization mechanism is in particular impressive to me. It shows how many people work on editing, how long these editing versions takes, and what kind of patterns happened during editing. I can see many potential future studies in this part. It’s so fun! Let’s wait and see.
Bryant, S. L., Forte, A., & Bruckman, A. (2005). Becoming Wikipedian: Transformation of participation in a collaborative online encyclopedia. In M. Pendergast, K. Schmidt, G. Mark, and M. Acherman (Eds.); Proceedings of the 2005 International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work, GROUP 2005, Sanibel Island, FL, November 6-9, pp. 1-10. Retrieved February 7, 2007, from http://www-static.cc.gatech.edu/~aforte/BryantForteBruckBecomingWikipedian.pdf
Sajjapanroj, S., Bonk, C. J., Lee, M., & Lin, M.-F. G. (2007, April). The challenges and successes of Wikibookian experts and Wikibook novices: Classroom and community perspectives. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. See http://wiki-riki.wikispaces.com/Research+Papers+and+Reports
Viégas, F. B., Wattenberg, M., & Dave, K. (2004). Studying cooperation and conflict between authors with history flow visualizations. In E. Dykstra-Erickson & M. Tscheligi (Eds.), Proceedings from ACM CHI 2004 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 575-582). Vienna, Austria. Retrieved February 3, 2007, from http://web.media.mit.edu/~fviegas/papers/history_flow.pdf