Geo-linguistic Dynamics of Virtual Work
in Wikipedia projects and beyond
Cognitive Surplus and Social Mobilization Theory
...
Virtual Work
or digital-net work (cf. paperwork)
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 2
 Technologies aside, (virtual) work is...
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 3
middle-range theory of virtual work
Accounting (and then transferring)
“social mobilizat...
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 4
“Cognitive surplus” … visualized
McCandless (2010) visualized Shirky (2010)’s idea
http:...
So how big is that “surplus”?
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 5
Wikipedia editing
 So if you take Wikipedia as a kind of
...
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 6
butthe US TV-viewing “cognitive surplus” is
not transferrablefor editing, say, Javanese ...
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 7
e.g. Javanese Wikipedia as an early attempt to create the
beginning of media-information...
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 8
Who and which institution can benefit from the social
mobilization of Chinese-language u...
Block-and-Diffusion: Disciplining the emerging
social mobilization of mainland Chinese Internet users.
29 September, 2013@...
Impacts: divided Chinese-language social
mobilization surplus via SERPs
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 10
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 11
Block-and Diffusion of mainland Chinese Internet users
Redirecting and segregating the ...
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 12
Block-and Diffusion of mainland Chinese Internet users
or re-shaping the “social mobili...
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 13
Linguistically-constituted
Geographically-configured
Literacy, social mobilization and ...
Theoretical concepts: “social mobilization”
(cf. crowd-sourcing?)
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 14
 “Social mobilizatio...
Theoretical concepts: geo-linguistic
dynamics
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 15
 “geo-linguistic dynamics”: both old and...
Indicators of social mobilization surplus,
divided by geo-linguistic groups
(instead of countries)
29 September, 2013@hant...
Implications for research
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 17
 Development indicators of geo-linguistic
groups (instead of...
Implications for policy and market
development
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 18
 Accounting/creating social mobilizatio...
In a nutshell
29 September, 2013@hanteng
Page 19
From creating/accounting (national) or
“labour force”
-- linguistic dive...
Geo-linguistic Dynamics of Virtual Work
in Wikipedia projects and beyond
Cognitive Surplus and Social Mobilization Theory
...
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201309 geo-linguistic dynamics virtual work liao IS1202 Malta

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How do geographic and linguistic factors encourage or prevent online participation? How can social media websites better serve users with language and regional interfaces and policies that promote "the right to participate in the cultural life of the community"(UDHR, 1948)? To answer the questions above, I use the modernization theory of "social mobilization" to better theorize the so-called "cognitive surplus" as "social mobilization surplus" as the new labour forces created through digit-net work and literacies practices and technologies. How do we account for and create "social mobilization surplus"? I argue that this theoretical and practical question has important policy and research implications for better and critical online participation because virtual work is “linguistically constituted” and also “geographically configured” for social mobilization.

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201309 geo-linguistic dynamics virtual work liao IS1202 Malta

  1. 1. Geo-linguistic Dynamics of Virtual Work in Wikipedia projects and beyond Cognitive Surplus and Social Mobilization Theory Han-Teng Liao’s presentation for September 29, 2013
  2. 2. Virtual Work or digital-net work (cf. paperwork) 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 2  Technologies aside, (virtual) work is “linguistically constituted” and also “geographically configured”.  (Virtual) work thus depends on the geo-linguistic support system, including literacy and technology.  “Cognitive surplus” needed to be accounted linguistically and geographically  cf. surplus-labour vs necessary labour in Marxist theory  Social mobilization of (virtual) work  Consider HSBC call center field trip in Malta
  3. 3. 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 3 middle-range theory of virtual work Accounting (and then transferring) “social mobilization surplus” or “cognitive surplus” into potential “human resources” or labour forces
  4. 4. 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 4 “Cognitive surplus” … visualized McCandless (2010) visualized Shirky (2010)’s idea http://infobeautiful2.s3.amazonaws.com/goggle_boxes.png
  5. 5. So how big is that “surplus”? 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 5 Wikipedia editing  So if you take Wikipedia as a kind of unit, all of Wikipedia, the whole project--every page, every edit, every talk page, every line of code, in every language that Wikipedia exists in--that represents something like the cumulation of 100 million hours of human thought. I worked this out with Martin Wattenberg at IBM; it's a back-of-the-envelope calculation, but it's the right order of magnitude, about 100 million hours of thought. Television watching  Two hundred billion hours, in the U.S. alone, every year. Put another way, now that we have a unit, that's 2,000 Wikipedia projects a year spent watching television. Or put still another way, in the U.S., we spend 100 million hours every weekend, just watching the ads…
  6. 6. 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 6 butthe US TV-viewing “cognitive surplus” is not transferrablefor editing, say, Javanese Wikipedia Shirky’s “cognitive surplus” is limited to the first-world context - when spare time is speculated to be useful for virtual work (or digital net work)
  7. 7. 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 7 e.g. Javanese Wikipedia as an early attempt to create the beginning of media-information-language literacy for Javanese users to create the basic digital-net work literacy for themselves (often without state support) “Social mobilization” theory is not limited to the first-world context, and it highlights the role of media-information-language literacy in the so-called “cognitive surplus”
  8. 8. 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 8 Who and which institution can benefit from the social mobilization of Chinese-language users in digital networked environment? Chinese-language case: social mobilization surplus of Chinese-language users
  9. 9. Block-and-Diffusion: Disciplining the emerging social mobilization of mainland Chinese Internet users. 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 9  the Internet development in China  better-than-history growth after 2006  actually “suppressed” significantly in the early 2000s  does not match the slow-fast-slow innovation diffusion S-shape pattern  does not match the other East Asian regions  Wikipedia in mainland China: the critical years of 2005-2008  “Great Firewall” as comparative advantage given to Baidu Baike  “Great Firewall” as divider for social mobilization surplus from Chinese- language internet users
  10. 10. Impacts: divided Chinese-language social mobilization surplus via SERPs 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 10
  11. 11. 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 11 Block-and Diffusion of mainland Chinese Internet users Redirecting and segregating the growing mainland Chinese social mobilization surplus (or “cognitive surplus”) of new Internet users…
  12. 12. 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 12 Block-and Diffusion of mainland Chinese Internet users or re-shaping the “social mobilization” processes among Chinese-language users and information
  13. 13. 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 13 Linguistically-constituted Geographically-configured Literacy, social mobilization and political development. How do we account for social mobilization surplus (or “cognitive surplus”) for more than just first-world countries? Chinese Internet users? Indian Internet users? Call-center workers?
  14. 14. Theoretical concepts: “social mobilization” (cf. crowd-sourcing?) 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 14  “Social mobilization” theory (Deutsch, 1961): a process in which “old social, economic, and psychological commitments are eroded or broken and people become available for new patterns of socialization and behavior.”  the necessary prior conditions for political mobilization (Cameron, 1974)  Common practices: nation-state building on mass literacy, mass media, public culture and political development (usually mono- lingualism)  … a “linguistically constituted” public space. (Habermas, 1998, pp. 360-1)  … a “geographically bounded” nation state  Creating and accounting (national) “labour force”
  15. 15. Theoretical concepts: geo-linguistic dynamics 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 15  “geo-linguistic dynamics”: both old and new patterns of socialization and behaviours that is “linguistically-constituted” and “geographically-configured”.  Empirical bases:  Global Wikipedia projects  Global Voice  Multi-lingual search engine markets and SEOs  Multi-lingual cities  “geo-linguistic groups of users”: users that are identified (and sometimes codified, e.g. “en-UK”, “ar-EG”) by media and ICT consumption and production systems.
  16. 16. Indicators of social mobilization surplus, divided by geo-linguistic groups (instead of countries) 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 16  Baseline proxy  Time-use survey  Internet penetration rates, Global Internet usage, etc.  “Workaholic” cross-country comparison  Actualized “virtual work” products of cognitive surplus  Wikipedia statistics  Twitter Translation Center  TED Open Translation Project
  17. 17. Implications for research 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 17  Development indicators of geo-linguistic groups (instead of nation-states)  “developed” versus “developing” groups  Development indicators of cross- and trans- geo-linguistic pair comparisons  Import vs Export  Core-peripheral relationship among languages (e.g. en-zh) or among regions (e.g. ar-EG vs ar-QT, or pt-BR vs pt-PT)  Strategic pairs: e.g. German-Turkish, English-Spanish, Chinese-Arabic, etc.  New media- and information- literacy beyond (national) mass literacy programs for new labour force
  18. 18. Implications for policy and market development 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 18  Accounting/creating social mobilization surplus(or “cognitive surplus”) for new markets and new labour force  Better use of geo-linguistic and geo-cultural data/analysis to measure and monitor existing and emerging cognitive surplus.
  19. 19. In a nutshell 29 September, 2013@hanteng Page 19 From creating/accounting (national) or “labour force” -- linguistic diversity as “bugs” To creating/accounting (geo-linguistic) “social mobilization surplus” -- linguistic diversity as “features” Virtual work is “linguistically constituted” and also “geographically configured” for social mobilization
  20. 20. Geo-linguistic Dynamics of Virtual Work in Wikipedia projects and beyond Cognitive Surplus and Social Mobilization Theory Han-Teng Liao’s presentation for September 29, 2013

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