Learning objectives (January 14th – 28th, 2013) • Define participation and consider its implications (& importance) in the information professions • Discuss how information organizations might participate more fully in digital communities • Discuss the issues of managing offline and online participation • Discuss digital identity, reputation management & surveillance in the age of social mediaDefinition(s) of participation • Origin: 1525–35 from <Latin participātus (past participle of participāre to share), is equivalent to particip- (stem of particeps ) taking part or partner; pars part + capere to take (OED, 2008) • Participation is defined as “the act of taking part in something”; its roots are in democratic ideals where all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect society and their lives • In modern organizations and communities, participation is based on the notion that anyone affected by decisions has the right to be involved in that process. Participation is the process by which organizations consult with others. Participation is two-way, democratic and collaborative; its goal is to achieve better and more acceptable solutions
• In government, there has been an electronic rise in participation in various democracies leading to terms such as e-democracy and “e-participation” – e-participation is defined as "the use of information and communication technologies to broaden and deepen political participation by enabling citizens to connect with one another and with their elected representatives"…To begin your exploration, readPearson E. All the world wide web’s stage: performance of identity in online socialnetworks. First Monday. 2009;14(3):1-7. o What is Pearson saying in this article? o As you read Pearson, consider how social networking is connected to identity building, and the idea of performing your identity o Share your thoughts in the discussion forumExamine the use of web 2.0 (start with a definition) o How is "2.0" suffix used generally on the web? Is it helpful? o Find examples of the use of 2.0 in libraries, archives & museums o Share your observations; is web 2.0 well-defined? Library 2.0? Archives 2.0? o Post brief points to the discussion forumAlbrechtslund A. Online social networking as participatory surveillance. FirstMonday. 2008;13(3). o What is the main premise in this article? What are the authors saying? o Do you participate differently online vs. face-to-face? How? o In using social media, are we being monitored? Surveilled? o Share your thoughts in the discussion forum The panopticon, Jeremy Bentham 1785
The panopticon was a prison designed by the 18th century English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. According to the OED, panopticon is defined as “…a circular prison with cells arranged around a central well, from which prisoners could at all times be observed.” To observe (-opticon) everyone (pan-) without participants knowing they are being watched and conveying an "invisible omniscience." The concept of the panopticon is occasionally used as a metaphor to highlight the negative implications ofthe web – especially social media which enforces a set of rules of conduct and identity disclosure. Critics suggest that tools such as Facebook and Twitter allow for a panopticon-like surveillance and that they make it easy to be watched by government, multinational corporations and criminals.The Library 2.0 Spectrum of ParticipationArchives & library 2.0 “Library 2.0 is human. Users see the face of the library, no matter how they access services. Librariansguide them via e-methods; versed in social tools, able to roll with change, these librarians will encourage and educate future users.” – Stephens, 2007 From: Library 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service (see free pdf, 201 pg.)Few concepts in information technology create as much confusion as library 2.0 (and archives 2.0, forthat matter). One of your activities in this module is to define web 2.0 and compare it to how the suffixis used elsewhere. Library 2.0, for its part, was defined by Mike Casey on LibraryCrunch in 2005. You canexplore some of the basic concepts applied in library 2.0 by perusing the Casey et al., text above. Library2.0 (like its archival counterpart "archives 2.0") seems to be an extension of "web 2.0", a concept thatwas popularized by OReilly Media in 2004. However, it seems that many of the library and archive 2.0s
are in decline in 2013. The "2.0" suffix still seems to be (mis)applied in business, education and medicinebut its use is on the wane in the information professions (a good thing).One reason why social media creates such confusion is how it fits (or doesn’t) with our traditions inlibraries and archives. Similar to how massive open online courses (MOOCs) challenge what a classroomis, social media challenges our traditional service models. However, social media makes participationpossible for all kinds of people (especially those who cannot get to an archive or library physically).Tweets, texting, Facebook and sending e-mail connect us to others in ways we never thought possible.Web 2.0 is truly a platform of participation.New mobile devices (e.g., smart phones, Droids, iPhones, etc.) facilitate participation. Krämer says"Everything we can say, find out and know about the world is being said, found out and known with thehelp of media" (1998). American academic Henry Jenkins (2006) says that social tools reflect theparticipation of young people in democracy. Rather than viewing Facebook and Twitter in isolation, hesuggests taking an ecological approach and thinking about the interrelationships between tools andcommunities. Media ecosystems consist of media technologies and the social, cultural, political andeconomic practices within communities. (Jenkins 2006, p. 8) LISTEN – PARTICIPATE – ENGAGE …a model you can use to implement social media; start at “listen”, participate & finally engage othersParticipation is about building identityAs an information professional, nothing is quite as important as your reputation. In the digital age, thisbecomes even more important as your digital identity is searchable. Thus, an important part of thismodule is to consider how your participation online will shape your digital identity. Rather than
passively accept what is out there about you, consider the power you have to take control of creatingyour own identity. Why leave such an important thing to chance?Digital identity is defined as “…a social identity that Internet users establish in online communities andvia social networking”. As our professional identities are forged through experience, we can presentourselves online similarly over time. This means managing your identity, what might be called digital orimpression management (Tufekci 2008). My advice to you: Manage your identity by telling stories. Shareyour ideas. Create new knowledge – leave a paper-digital trail. Develop an identity. One of the best waysto develop an digital identity is to write about and share your experience. (see My first month: LauraWilliams, Assistant Media Librarian at ITV).In All the world wide web’s a stage: the performance of identity in online social networks, Pearson uses aframework to show how individuals perform their identities. Online, we walk a fine line between thepublic and private aspects of our identities. Pearson introduces the metaphor of the "glass bedroom"which is meant to describe online spaces which are not entirely private nor are they “backstage”. Theglass bedroom is a complex space, partly private and public where we construct our identities bydeveloping the skills to do so.According to Goffman, impression management ("a process by which people control the impressionsothers form of them") is part of life and a chief motivator of human performances in social settings. Hisideas incorporate symbolic interaction and qualitative analysis of the interactive aspect ofcommunication. Put simply, our interactions are performances. They provide our audience withimpressions which are contingent on context. Differences in response towards an environment andtarget audience are part of what Goffman calls self-monitoring. At all times, online self-monitoring iscritical to the effective and safe use of social media.For keeners • Ikeya N. The application of theory of interaction to library & information science: E. Goffmans theory and its implication for the field. Library & Information Science.1991;21-37Goffmans frame is used a conceptual schema to interprete the structure of interaction. In a Goffmananalysis, the interactional order of a situation explains how social constraints affect individuals in socialsettings. Goffman presented insights into human interaction and has been applied to library andinformation science for decades. This 1991 paper reconstructs Goffmans theory by examininghis frame concept and proposes new directions for it. Goffman might take as revealing the notion offront-back stage of librarians working at reference desks. Reference librarians behave differently "infront" of the public than when they are in back, working in their offices or socializing in the staff area.Librarians therefore act in a certain manner when “in public” and in a quite different manner when “inprivate."Participation spaces
Some libraries and archives are creating actual participatory spaces that promote involvement in civicevents, community projects or sports events. This participatory space can be in person or online. Thisidea is rooted in classical notions of citizenship and democracy, and the notion of community centresand the town square. Public institutions, community centres and libraries should actively welcomeparticipation and create spaces for it. In 2012, the ACRL wrote about the rise of fablabs andmakerspaces which are part of this trend. Radical participation may progress to activism or civildemonstration such as the Arab Spring or civil disobedience. Naturally, the ability to organizedemonstrations is aided through the use of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter.Two-way interaction using social media is very 21st century. Historically, citizen participation was oftenconfined to elections every four years or writing letters to the editor of a local paper. The whole mediumof television is very one-way: very command-and-control in terms of content so on the one hand (thepowerful one), hegemonic elites controlled most of the information flow. On the other (weaker, morepassive side), scores of citizens (television viewers) were fed information with no chance to interact.As an interactive medium, television has transitioned to audience participation through shows such asAmerican Idol and through live streaming of elections and sporting events. The push for audienceparticipation puts us into new roles - e.g. participant as cheerleader, watchful citizen, police informant -and creates new forms of democratic participation and surveillance.Social media are powerful political instruments. Audiences are shaped by these spaces whether theybegin and end online or result in face to face interaction. In the social media age, space is fluid. Spaceenables and prevents interaction. On Twitter, there is more freewheeling participation, making itpossible to examine others. YouTube, for example, combines conventions from television and oralculture, and focuses on providing content and space for feedback and conversation. This is a real sourceof agency because we can all be a part of the conversation.Participation is part of learning "During the past year, makerspaces have been gaining traction in libraries. A makerspace is a place where people come together to design and build projects. …they provide access to materials, tools andtechnologies to allow for hands-on exploration and participatory learning. They are occasionally referred to as fablabs, hackerspaces or tech shops. A makerspace may include a 3-D printer, digital media and fabrication software... makerspaces are defined not by specific equipment but by a guiding purpose to provide people with a place to experiment, create and learn..." ~ Fisher ES. Makerspaces move into academic libraries. ACRL TechConnect blog.A great deal of learning – especially learning aided by information technologies, and the Internet – is aproduct and symptom of temporally-specific socio-cultural context. That is to say the participatoryspaces that are created should be a logical extension of the social and cultural needs of a community.Therefore, its important to consider the functions and features of participatory spaces within aframework of 21st century participatory cultures. According to Jenkins, a participatory culture is onewith relatively low barriers to expression, and where one can find social support for creating and sharing
ideas. There is typically a DIY (do-it-yourself) element in many of these cultures. The members of aparticipatory culture believe that each contribution matters, and feel an obligation - a collective sense ofmentorship and social connection - to help others, even if (or especially if) they have never met inperson. These particular features of participatory cultures affect, to a great extent, the type of learningthat can best flourish within it.Gee clarifies our understanding of participatory cultures further by introducing the notion of affinityspaces. He differentiates affinity spaces from previous frameworks of participation such as communitiesof practice by shifting focus from membership to interaction. While “community” is associated withaffiliations and a deeper sense of belonging, affinity spaces are understood as the interconnectedactivities and interests of a collective. Gee reclaims the idea of “space” in terms of interactivity. In thatsense, thinking about “space” indicates a certain passivity on the part of the participants. This seems toemphasize the circumstances of association rather than the actions or motivations of the participants.This seems to pose some danger when “spaces” are inherently more passive than active (historically,think of libraries). Thinking about learning spaces in more active ways is a significant step in realizingtheir true pedagogical and social potential. This includes societys beloved libraries.What is social invisibility?Social invisibility occurs when Internet users do not bind to ("friend") others in social networking spaces.This leads to a sort of digital isolationism, leaving interdependent subgroups as social "islands". Thesocial influence of someone who is socially invisible, once diminished, operates much like the position ofa pariah ("untouchable") in society. The experience of social invisibility or distorted social visibility is anexperience shared by different disenfranchised and suppressed groups: traditionally, certain races, ethicgroups, the disabled and women have been rendered invisible in many social spaces.Information professionals can be mindful of this social invisibility and work to counter it.
What many of the frameworks or ontologies suggest as a starting point in social mediaparticipation is conversation. Similarly, according to Haven (2012), five ontological conceptsrelated to participation are: • Conversation: Individuals interact with each other when they have conversations. Sometimes communication is facilitated (or restrained) by context, culture, technology. • Community: Conversations replicate to become part of a community of individuals who come together to share knowledge and information resources (or knowledge objects). • Accessibility: Access to information extends beyond a community’s borders into a broader public sphere and should be made easily accessible to everyone within it. • Symmetry: There is a symmetrical relationship between information organizations and the communities they serve; sometimes, building that symmetry takes work. • Phase transition: New methods can emerge to address how information organizations and professionals can interact with others. This transition must be conscious and directed.
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