Lessons learned from Futures Studies: Towards a method for Web Science

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Presentation about applying the methodology of Futures Studies to Web Science. …

Presentation about applying the methodology of Futures Studies to Web Science.

Student Project at the Web Science Summer School 09

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  • 1. Lessons learned from Futures Studies: towards a method for Web Science Dominic DiFranzo, Benjamin Heitmann, Betty Purwandari
  • 2. Motivation: Web Science for predictions? • Could we have predicted Twitter? • Goal of a systems level view of the Web: Understanding the possible futures of the Web • Predictions could allow engineering and shaping a better Web
  • 3. The science of predictions: Futures studies • The Web = Technology + Social Element • Predictions need to take both into account • Futures studies takes models and methods from a broad range of fields: economics, sociology, geography, history, engineering, mathematics, psychology, technology, tourism, physics, biology, astronomy, theology
  • 4. Objectives of Futures Studies 1. Examine possible, probable, preferable and “wild card” futures 2. Holistic/systems view of prediction domain 3. Challenges hidden assumptions behind future predictions. 4. Provide blue print to connect extrapolated and normative research Source: Futures studies article on Wikipedia
  • 5. “Images of the future” • Foundational method: • How a society views its future, affects the future direction of that society. • Expectations of the future, relate to past trends. • Analysing “future images” allows making better predictions.
  • 6. Science Fiction • Snowcrash: Metaverse (Second Life) • Rainbows End: Augmented reality(sixth sense) • Down and Out in Magical Kingdom: Wuffie (ebay feedback)
  • 7. Trends • Wired cover story: The Long Boom, a history of the future(1997) • 40 years of growth from 1980 to 2020 • tech waves: computers, telecom, biotech, nanotech, alt energy • optimistic re growth of all world economies • Superstruct game: prediction game based on Web 2.0 interaction
  • 8. Methodologies • quantitative (extrapolation): • trend analysis (times series analysis) • qualitative: • Scenario planning • Backcasting • more on our wiki page
  • 9. Summary: How to apply futures studies to Web Science • Studying the current Web is not enough, we need prediction methodologies to help us build a better web. • New method for Web Science: combine normative and extrapolating methods • emphasise plurality of relevant futures (you can learn more from multiple futures)