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#diversitytech
diversity as a source of technological innovation

                Jessica Faye Carter
                  New York City
                 August 12, 2009
Overview

• Diversity and the spread of technology
• The world according to Twitter
• Open Source software
• Social networks
• How our lives are changing
• Q&A/Wrap-Up



Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Diversity undergirds the spread of technology

• Technological expansion requires dialogue across cultures
  and communities
    ‣ Think about ideas/concepts that spread
             trends

             viruses

             religion

    ‣ to remain viable, ideas/concepts engage in a give-and-take with
      different cultures

    ‣ this is how social media technologies have become entrenched in our
      society (“put down roots”)
Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
The world according to




Twitter Karma
6 types of Twitter diversity

• Diversity-driven Twitter apps:
    ‣ aesthetic (e.g., Twistori, Twitpic)

    ‣ connective (e.g., Tweeto’clock, Twitter Karma, Twibes, wefollow)

    ‣ informative (e.g., Twitter search, Tweepsearch)

    ‣ metrical/influence (e.g., Twitalyzer, Twitterholic)

    ‣ utilitarian (e.g., Hootsuite, Seesmic Desktop, Tweetdeck, Splitweet)

    ‣ comedic (e.g., Billie Tweets, Lolquiz)




Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Diverse perspectives

• Users
    ‣ interests, preferences, what’s trending, the “technoscenti”

• Developers
    ‣ entrepreneurial, interests, preferences, crowdsourcing, entrepreneurial




Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Diversitweet




Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Diversity as part of the technology value proposition

• For Twitter, diversity is a benefit and part of its value
  proposition
    ‣ Encourages “cross-boundary communication”

    ‣ Invites an increase in learning

    ‣ Supports innovation

    ‣ Helps disseminate a variety of information
             #healthcare, #iranelection, #MichaelJackson, #Sotomayor, #skipgates




Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Open Source Software




Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Open Source software

• The Cathedral and the Bazaar (CatB)
    ‣ essay by Eric S. Raymond (1997)

    ‣ two methods of free software development

• Cathedral model
    ‣ similar to the feeling a cathedral would invoke

    ‣ hierarchical, rigid, less-flexible

    ‣ partially exclusive

    ‣ developers somewhat isolated; coming together at specified times

Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Cathedral and Bazaar (ct’d)

• Bazaar model (widely accepted)
    ‣ Software development in the “public square”

    ‣ Everyone is involved

    ‣ Users are co-developers (give-and-take)

    ‣ Modularity in development/parallel development

    ‣ Dynamic decision making (decision-making process changes over
      time)




Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Open Source Definition (selected elements)

• Deals with the intellectual property of the software (license)
• Economic diversity
    ‣ free redistribution

• Non-discrimination clauses
    ‣ against persons or groups, or fields of endeavor

• Non-restrictive clauses
    ‣ license cannot be specific to a product, not restrict other software,
      must be technology-neutral
  Source: Open Source Institute
Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Why open-source is so widespread

• Bazaar model draws on diversity
    ‣ draws on developers and users

    ‣ broad array of inputs (e.g., interests, preferences, values, goals)

    ‣ views discrimination as an impediment to progress (what if we
      looked at diversity as a way to overcome hindrances to productivity
      and innovation, instead of as merely a “good thing”)

    ‣ people work on what interests them simultaneously (draws on different
      passions)

    ‣ dialogue/give-and-take with public helps with the spread and viability
      of open-source

Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Social Networks




Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Social Networks

• Moving toward fragmentation
• Proliferation of niche social networks
    ‣ verticals - age (Gather.com), ethnic (MiGente.com), religious
      (MyChurch,org), dating (Shmooze.com)

    ‣ software to support niche networks: Ning, Social Engine, Buddypress,
      Elgg, etc.

    ‣ Data/relationship portability across networks

• Users have diversity of interests, identities, and comfort levels
  with technology—this is part of the catalyst for innovation in
  social networking
Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Social identities

• Social media reinforces previous identifications
    ‣ CitySaheli.com - social network for South Asian women

    ‣ BlackPlanet.com - social network for Black Americans

    ‣ Womenco.com - social network for women seeking jobs

• But also encourages new identifications
    ‣ Interest-based, instead of race, gender, etc.
             careers, hobbies, geography

              • Artmetal.com - social network for people interested in metal arts

              • Meetup.com
Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
How our lives are changing

• Broadening of communities/spheres of influence
• “No expert required”/more entrepreneurial
• Shift in self-identification
• “Flatter” world (in Friedmanian terms)
• Dynamic lifestyle/living in dialogue (give-and-take) with the
  larger society




Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
Q&A/Wrap-Up

Question: since diversity undergirds some of the major philosophies upon which
social media technologies are built, why do we continue to lack diversity at major
technical conferences and events?
Thank You.

http://jessicafayecarter.com
@jescarter

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diversitytech: diversity as a source of technological innovation

  • 1. #diversitytech diversity as a source of technological innovation Jessica Faye Carter New York City August 12, 2009
  • 2. Overview • Diversity and the spread of technology • The world according to Twitter • Open Source software • Social networks • How our lives are changing • Q&A/Wrap-Up Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 3. Diversity undergirds the spread of technology • Technological expansion requires dialogue across cultures and communities ‣ Think about ideas/concepts that spread trends viruses religion ‣ to remain viable, ideas/concepts engage in a give-and-take with different cultures ‣ this is how social media technologies have become entrenched in our society (“put down roots”) Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 4. The world according to Twitter Karma
  • 5. 6 types of Twitter diversity • Diversity-driven Twitter apps: ‣ aesthetic (e.g., Twistori, Twitpic) ‣ connective (e.g., Tweeto’clock, Twitter Karma, Twibes, wefollow) ‣ informative (e.g., Twitter search, Tweepsearch) ‣ metrical/influence (e.g., Twitalyzer, Twitterholic) ‣ utilitarian (e.g., Hootsuite, Seesmic Desktop, Tweetdeck, Splitweet) ‣ comedic (e.g., Billie Tweets, Lolquiz) Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 6. Diverse perspectives • Users ‣ interests, preferences, what’s trending, the “technoscenti” • Developers ‣ entrepreneurial, interests, preferences, crowdsourcing, entrepreneurial Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 7. Diversitweet Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 8. Diversity as part of the technology value proposition • For Twitter, diversity is a benefit and part of its value proposition ‣ Encourages “cross-boundary communication” ‣ Invites an increase in learning ‣ Supports innovation ‣ Helps disseminate a variety of information #healthcare, #iranelection, #MichaelJackson, #Sotomayor, #skipgates Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 9. Open Source Software Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 10. Open Source software • The Cathedral and the Bazaar (CatB) ‣ essay by Eric S. Raymond (1997) ‣ two methods of free software development • Cathedral model ‣ similar to the feeling a cathedral would invoke ‣ hierarchical, rigid, less-flexible ‣ partially exclusive ‣ developers somewhat isolated; coming together at specified times Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 11. Cathedral and Bazaar (ct’d) • Bazaar model (widely accepted) ‣ Software development in the “public square” ‣ Everyone is involved ‣ Users are co-developers (give-and-take) ‣ Modularity in development/parallel development ‣ Dynamic decision making (decision-making process changes over time) Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 12. Open Source Definition (selected elements) • Deals with the intellectual property of the software (license) • Economic diversity ‣ free redistribution • Non-discrimination clauses ‣ against persons or groups, or fields of endeavor • Non-restrictive clauses ‣ license cannot be specific to a product, not restrict other software, must be technology-neutral Source: Open Source Institute Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 13. Why open-source is so widespread • Bazaar model draws on diversity ‣ draws on developers and users ‣ broad array of inputs (e.g., interests, preferences, values, goals) ‣ views discrimination as an impediment to progress (what if we looked at diversity as a way to overcome hindrances to productivity and innovation, instead of as merely a “good thing”) ‣ people work on what interests them simultaneously (draws on different passions) ‣ dialogue/give-and-take with public helps with the spread and viability of open-source Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 14. Social Networks Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 15. Social Networks • Moving toward fragmentation • Proliferation of niche social networks ‣ verticals - age (Gather.com), ethnic (MiGente.com), religious (MyChurch,org), dating (Shmooze.com) ‣ software to support niche networks: Ning, Social Engine, Buddypress, Elgg, etc. ‣ Data/relationship portability across networks • Users have diversity of interests, identities, and comfort levels with technology—this is part of the catalyst for innovation in social networking Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 16. Social identities • Social media reinforces previous identifications ‣ CitySaheli.com - social network for South Asian women ‣ BlackPlanet.com - social network for Black Americans ‣ Womenco.com - social network for women seeking jobs • But also encourages new identifications ‣ Interest-based, instead of race, gender, etc. careers, hobbies, geography • Artmetal.com - social network for people interested in metal arts • Meetup.com Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 17. How our lives are changing • Broadening of communities/spheres of influence • “No expert required”/more entrepreneurial • Shift in self-identification • “Flatter” world (in Friedmanian terms) • Dynamic lifestyle/living in dialogue (give-and-take) with the larger society Copyright © 2009 Jessica Faye Carter.
  • 18. Q&A/Wrap-Up Question: since diversity undergirds some of the major philosophies upon which social media technologies are built, why do we continue to lack diversity at major technical conferences and events?