SCCA 2013 : Social Computing for Collective Action
Call For Papers
Society has not taken full advantage of social computing to achieve goal-driven cooperative behaviors. Social media has been successful in drawing attention to situations, such as the "Arab Spring" and "Occupy Wall Street" movements that were initially under-represented by traditional sources of information. However, the role that social networking played in affecting the behavior of the grassroots efforts remains unclear. For example, the Occupy Wall Street movement used a general assembly to allow the whole community in attendance to share in democratic decision-making. However, no communication mechanisms were used to enable geographically distributed participants to contribute.
The potential for social computing to support collective action can be observed by the "Occupy Sandy" community of volunteers, who applied their grassroots approach to address needs after Hurricane Sandy. While they used social media to announce needs, they still relied on small groups using limited distribution methods (e.g. a giant pad of newsprint) to coordinate their response. After the Haitian Earthquake of 2010, social computing applications were used to assist crisis response groups by identifying and prioritizing needs, but were unable to address ad hoc resource coordination to fulfill those needs.
Social computing as a call to action
This Workshop asks the question: "How can social computing initiate and support collective action?" Social media is an excellent tool to share information and as been used as a call to action in many cases. But before that action can be taken the group must implicitly or explicitly decide on what the actions should be, how should the actions be accomplished, and who is going to take on each action.
Some specific questions the Workshop will address are:
What is the role of social intercourse in collective decision-making?
What dependencies exist between collective actions and the provenance of the decisions that compel them?
Since humans are both actors and sensors, how do we leverage sensing to improve the efficacy of collective action? In other words, can collective actions be dynamically adjusted on the basis of environmental response to that action?
Can existing social networking concepts (such as "memes") be used to propose, evaluate, and select decision options?
Relevant topics include:
Evolution of ideas
Behavior emergence in social media
Voting and social choice theory
Ad hoc coordination
Strategy in game theoretic analysis
Social animal behavior