Capital in communities: the case of the Cipher Challenge

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Hazel Hall's invited paper presented at presented at 2003 Virtual Communities Conference, 16-17 June 2003, London. The full text of a journal article developed from this paper is accessible from
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0268401204000283.

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Capital in communities: the case of the Cipher Challenge

  1. 1. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengePresented byHazel HallSenior LecturerSchool of ComputingNapier University, Edinburghh.hall@napier.ac.uk 1
  2. 2. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeCo-authorDianne GrahamSystems AdministratorHighland CouncilHarbour ManagementLochinver 2
  3. 3. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeCommunities of practice enhance collaborative work – within single organisations – across networks of organisations – in non-organisational groupings 3
  4. 4. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeCommunities of practice enhance collaborative work – within single organisations – across networks of organisations – in non-organisational groupingsand are dependent on knowledge sharing practice 4
  5. 5. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeIncentives for knowledge sharing 5
  6. 6. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeIncentives for knowledge sharing – provision of rewards • hard • soft 6
  7. 7. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeIncentives for knowledge sharing – provision of rewards • hard • soft – provision of infrastructure • social • technological • boundary 7
  8. 8. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeIncentives for knowledge sharing – provision of rewards • hard • soft Strong belief in organisational – provision of infrastructure ownership of expertise • social • technological Positive attitude towards • boundary knowledge sharing promoted in the organisation 8
  9. 9. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeIncentives for knowledge sharing – provision of rewards • hard • soft Strong belief in organisational – provision of infrastructure ownership of expertise • social • technological Positive attitude towards • boundary knowledge sharing promoted in the organisation 9
  10. 10. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeIncentives for knowledge sharing – provision of rewards How does this apply in a • hard “social” setting? • soft Strong belief in organisational – provision of infrastructure ownership of expertise • social • technological Positive attitude towards • boundary knowledge sharing promoted in the organisation 10
  11. 11. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge 1997 11
  12. 12. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge 1997 1999 12
  13. 13. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge 1999 13
  14. 14. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeStage 5109 182 6 11 88 214 74 77 153 177 109 195 76 37 188166 188 73 109 158 15 208 42 5 217 78 209 147 9 8180 169 109 22 96 169 3 29 214 215 9 198 77 112 8 30117 124 86 96 73 177 50 161Singh, 1999, p. 355 14
  15. 15. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeStage 5109 182 6 11 88 214 74 77 153 177 109 195 76 37 188166 188 73 109 158 15 208 42 5 217 78 209 147 9 8180 169 109 22 96 169 3 29 214 215 9 198 77 112 8 30117 124 86 96 73 177 50 161Singh, 1999, p. 355 Illiad 15
  16. 16. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge• Identification of Fermat’s last theorem (not Fermat’s last theorem) holding a clue. 16
  17. 17. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge• Identification of Fermat’s last theorem (not Fermat’s last theorem) holding a clue.• Marginal note: Cubem autem in duos cubos, aut quadratoquodratum in duos quadratoquadratos, et generaliter nullam in infinitum ultra quadratum potestatem in duos eiusdem nominis fas est dividere. Cuius rei demonstrationem mirabilem sane detexi hanc marginis exiguitas non careret. 17
  18. 18. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge• Fermat’s marginal note as key text for letter counting: (1) cubemauteminduoscubosautquadratoquodratu (41) minduosquadratoquadratosetgeneraliternul (81) lamininfinitumultraquadratumpotestatemin (121)duoseiusdemnominisfasestdividerecuiusrei (161)demonstrationemmirabilemsanedetexihancma (201)rginisexiguitasnoncareret 18
  19. 19. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge• Fermat’s marginal note as key text for letter counting: (1) cubemauteminduoscubosautquadratoquodratu (41) minduosquadratoquadratosetgeneraliternul (81) lamininfinitumultraquadratumpotestatemin (121)duoseiusdemnominisfasestdividerecuiusrei (161)demonstrationemmirabilemsanedetexihancma (201)rginisexiguitasnoncareret 109 182 6 11 88 214 74 77 19
  20. 20. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge• Fermat’s marginal note as key text for letter counting: (1) cubemauteminduoscubosautquadratoquodratu (41) minduosquadratoquadratosetgeneraliternul (81) lamininfinitumultraquadratumpotestatemin (121)duoseiusdemnominisfasestdividerecuiusrei (161)demonstrationemmirabilemsanedetexihancma (201)rginisexiguitasnoncareret 109 182 6 11 88 214 74 77 = plaifair 20
  21. 21. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge• Fermat’s marginal note as key text for letter counting: (1) cubemauteminduoscubosautquadratoquodratu (41) minduosquadratoquadratosetgeneraliternul (81) lamininfinitumultraquadratumpotestatemin (121)duoseiusdemnominisfasestdividerecuiusrei (161)demonstrationemmirabilemsanedetexihancma (201)rginisexiguitasnoncareret Plaifair cipher es el proximo nivel. La palabra secreta es Illiad. 21
  22. 22. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Purpose of the list 22
  23. 23. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Monthly contributions to the list 23
  24. 24. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Completion announced 11 October 2000 24
  25. 25. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge £10,000? 25
  26. 26. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeResearch approach – “Content analysis” – E-mail survey - questionnaire to sample of membership – In-depth interviews • Simon Singh • Code breakers 26
  27. 27. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeDemographics – Male – Under 40 – Beginners 27
  28. 28. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeDemographics – Male – Under 40 – Beginners 28
  29. 29. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMotivation to participate - knowledge capital – Gain knowledge of code-breaking • in general • to solve a particular problem 29
  30. 30. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMotivation to participate - learning – Gain knowledge of code-breaking • in general • to solve a particular problem – Gain information on others’ progress • benchmarking 30
  31. 31. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMotivation to participate - learning – Gain knowledge of code-breaking • in general • to solve a particular problem – Gain information on others’ progress • benchmarking Share knowledge with others 31
  32. 32. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Help requested 32
  33. 33. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Benchmarking 33
  34. 34. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Help provided 34
  35. 35. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMotivation to participate - social contact• In VCs – Individuals seek friendship • instant access to on-going relationships with a large number of people 35
  36. 36. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMotivation to participate - social contact• In VCs – Individuals seek friendship • instant access to on-going relationships with a large number of people – Groups of enthusiasts seek sense of “belonging” • shared identities, relationships, commitments 36
  37. 37. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMotivation to participate - social contact• In VCs t n o rta p o im – Individuals seek friendshipt s • instant access to on-going = no relationships with a large number of people h ip io ns p an om – Groups , c enthusiasts seek sense of “belonging” of se ca • s shared identities, relationships, commitments thi In 37
  38. 38. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeLow importance of social relationships – Topic of the discussions – Clarity of the group’s purpose – Passion and interest for the topic – Demographics of membership – Prospects for interaction in the real world 38
  39. 39. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMotivation to participate - social contact• Encouragement – (Public) one-to-one 39
  40. 40. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMotivation to participate - social contact• Encouragement – (Public) one-to-one – Community 40
  41. 41. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge One-to-one encouragement 41
  42. 42. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMotivation to participate - social contactCommunity encouragement I gained heart from reading all the old posts from people who had solved the various codes already. It was obviously a do-able task. 42
  43. 43. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeKnowledge sharing and capital createdGains Why take? Why give? To break codes Moral obligation To win prizeIndividual Knowledge capital Reputation Personal satisfactionCommunity None Knowledge capital Social capital 43
  44. 44. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Desire to contribute 44
  45. 45. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Obligation to contribute 45
  46. 46. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Frustration with lurking free-riders 46
  47. 47. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Winners were lurking free-riders 47
  48. 48. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeKnowledge sharing and capital createdGains Why take? Why give? To break codes Moral obligation To win prizeIndividual Knowledge capital Reputation Personal satisfactionCommunity None Knowledge capital? Social capital 48
  49. 49. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Lurking to learn 49
  50. 50. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeKnowledge capital? They exchanged a lot of comment such as “Did you know that…?” However, I do not think participants exchanged a lot of new, crucial knowledge. Very few people put forward the sort of knowledge that might jeopardise their chances of winning. 50
  51. 51. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Guarding against spoilers 51
  52. 52. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Sub-groups/cliques 52
  53. 53. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallenge Knowledge creation 53
  54. 54. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMain conclusions of interest to business applications – The values of community membership determine the power of incentives employed to encourage active participation. 54
  55. 55. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMain conclusions of interest to business applications – The values of community membership determine the power of incentives employed to encourage active participation. – The breadth of topic focus determines levels/type of activity and associated need for social support. 55
  56. 56. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeMain conclusions of interest to business applications – The values of community membership determine the power of incentives employed to encourage active participation. – The breadth of topic focus determines levels/type of activity and associated need for social support. – Community size matters: inclusion for individual learning, exclusion for knowledge creation. 56
  57. 57. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeRelated work on communitiesDavenport, E., & Hall, H. (2002). Organizational knowledge and communities of practice. In B. Cronin (Ed.), Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (Vol. 36, pp. 171-227). Medford, New Jersey: Information Today.Hall, H. (2001). Input friendly intranets: motivating knowledge sharing across intranets. Journal of Information Science, 27(3), 139-146.Hall, H. (2001). Social exchange for knowledge exchange. Paper presented at the Managing knowledge: conversations and critiques, 10-11 April 2001, University of Leicester.Hall, H. (in press). Borrowed theory: applying exchange theories in information science research. Library and Information Science Research, 25. 57
  58. 58. Capital in communities: the case of the CipherChallengeCipherChallenge materialThe bookSingh, S. (1999). The code book. London: Fourth Estate.The solutionsAlmgren, F., Andersson, G., Granlund, T., Ivansson, L., & Ulfberg, S. (2000). How we cracked the code book ciphers, [Online]. Available: http://answers.codebook.org/codebook_solution.pdfThe e-grouphttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/CipherChallenge 58

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