Hi! Let’s be creative about being reflective, as individuals and as groups. Learn more about the projects I’ve worked on that share this goal:
- Watch videos of increasing length: Shortish description, UW CSE colloquium, Phd defense
- Read my dissertation
- …or browse the individual projects below.
Living Voters Guide: Toward meaningful collective deliberation
The Living Voters Guide brings voters together to discuss and integrate their perspectives, in contrast to our media environment of divisive soundbites. It is a voters guide that is co-created by everyone who participates. It evolves as citizens consider the tradeoffs for each measure.
The core interaction centers on the construction of a pro/con list for a decision that is to be made. Each participant fills out a pro/con list. They can add their own, as well as drawing on the points that other people have added. Over time, the most salient points rise to the top by being included in many positions. Participants are also invited to take a stance on a continuous spectrum from support to oppose. After submitting their stance and their position, participants can explore the stances that other people have taken.
Washington’s Living Voters Guide
California’s Living Voters Guide
- “Supporting Reflective Public Thought with ConsiderIt.” Kriplean et al. CSCW 2012. [pdf]
- “Facilitating Encounters with Political Difference: Engaging Voters with the Living Voters Guide.” Freelon, Kriplean et al. JITP 2011.
ConsiderIt code repository
Reflect: Helping the web listen
Listening is not just hearing. It includes listeners giving evidence that they are understanding; nods, restatements, cocking the head. Web interfaces do not support this aspect of listening very well. It is far easier to speak into the web than to actively listen through it.
Reflect helps close the feedback loop between speakers and listeners by introducing a space for bulleted summaries next to every comment in a web forum. Any reader can become an active listener by adding a bullet point that summarizes something that a commenter was trying to say. These restatements are viewable by everyone. The original commenter is able to clarify whether the summary is accurate.
Flash Volunteer seeks to build community and increase volunteerism in Seattle through the creation of a sustainable, user-friendly online platform to connect, inspire and mobilize volunteers to effect meaningful change on a neighborhood level.
I’m helping out as the CTO of Flash Volunteer. This is not an academic project. But I believe that platforms for supporting community work is incredibly important for creating the conditions for positive deliberation.
Deliberation and Work Recognition in Wikipedia
Wikipedians share no less goal than producing a comprehensive account of all human knowledge. And its become an important information resource.
As the community and corpus have grown, complex relationships of cooperation, coercion and control emerge as participants add, remove, and organize content.
I’ve done some computational social science research on how deliberation occurs in Wikipedia and how work is recognized. The core mode of inquiry is to data mine
and qualititatively investigate instances of specific practices that have become important in Wikipedia in order to understand the community. Two such practices have been central: use of policy and barnstars.
Wikipedia’s body of policies have evolved to embody principles and best practices; they get
cited and hyperlinked to all the time during discussions. At the core of Wikipedia policy are deliberative norms like consensus-seeking and assume good faith.
Wikipedia may be the best example of an online space where people can get a proper civics lesson — that is, learn how to constructively disagree with others.
Not only are Wikipedians writing an encyclopedia, but they are collectively learning how to collaboratively write an encyclopedia. By tracking and interpreting the use of policy
in discussions, we have been able to better understand how the central concerns of the Wikipedian community have changed over time.
Barnstars are tokens of appreciation that Wikipedia editors give to each other in appreciation of work that they are doing. They are usually some image and personalized text.
Imagine if this type of practice were more widespread in our everyday life: showing our appreciation of others’ work. We datamine barnstars to
identify the distribution of valued work in Wikipedia.
Articulations of WikiWork: Uncovering Valued Work in Wikipedia through BarnstarsBest Paper Honorable Mention
Wikipedian Self-Governance in Action: Motivating the Policy LensBest Paper Award
Community, Consensus, Coercion, Control: CS*W or How Policy Mediates Mass Participation
UrbanSim is designed to help in the analysis of various policy alternatives for urban development through a simulation system that
models the interactions between land use, transportation, employment and household choices over a span of twenty to thirty years.
As such, it provides a foundation for discussion, counteracting typical deadlock when planners and politicians disagree on base
truths. Currently, UrbanSim is used nearly exclusively by members of Metropolitan_planning_organization metropolitan planning organizations.
This is a project that my advisor Alan Borning started working on in 1996 with collaborator Paul Waddell in Urban Planning (now at Berkeley).
Supporting agile modeling through experimentation in an integrated urban simulation framework
Public Participation and Value Advocacy in Information Design and Sharing: Laying the Foundations in Advance of Wide-scale Public DeploymentInformation Polity, 2009, vol. 14
Laying the Foundations for Public Participation and Value Advocacy: Interaction Design for a Large Scale Urban Simulation
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