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MITACS-MoMiNIS SEMINAR - Motivating User Participation in Social Computing Applications

  • 19 May 2011
  • 11:30 AM
  • Dalhousie - Jacob Slonim Conference Room (430), Computer Science
                       MITACS-MoMiNIS SEMINAR
Speaker:   Dr. Julita Vassileva
           University of Saskatchewan
Title:     Motivating User Participation in Social Computing Applications
Date:      Thursday, May 19, 2011
Time:      11:30 a.m.
Location:  Jacob Slonim Conference Room (430), Computer Science
           Dalhousie University
           6050 University Avenue, Halifax]
Note:      Coffee and cookies will be provided, courtesy of Faculty of
           Computer Science.


          The explosive growth of Web-based social applications over the last 10 years has lead people to engage in online communities for various purposes. Social Computing Applications allow users to discuss various topics in online forums, share their thoughts in blogs, share photos, videos, bookmarks, and connect with friends through social networks. Yet, the design of successful social applications that attract and sustain active contribution by their users still remains more of an art than a science. For every successful social application, there are thousands that have failed. While there has been a lot of research on how people engage in already successful online communities, it is not clear how to design social computing applications for given purpose or audience so that they succeed.
          My research over the last 10 years has been based on the hypothesis that it is possible to incorporate mechanisms and tools in the design of social applications that can motivate users to participate, or more generally, to change their behaviour in a desirable way, which is beneficial for the community. This talk presents an overview of different approaches that have been designed and evaluated in the MADMUC Lab at the University of Saskatchewan based on various theories from the area of social psychology and behavioural economics and involving rewards mechanisms, reputation, open group user modeling, and social visualization. Future trends are outlined towards convergence with the areas of persuasive systems design, adaptive/personalized systems, and intelligent social learning environments.

Speaker Bio:

Julita Vassileva is a professor of computer science at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Her research areas involve human issues in decentralized software environments: user modeling and personalization, designing incentive mechanisms for encouraging participation and facilitating trust in decentralized software applications, such as online communities, social networks, multi-agent systems  and peer-to-peer systems.  Dr. Vassileva also holds the NSERC/Cameco Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for the Prairies.

Speaker URLs:
Host contact: Evangelos Milios eem@cs.dal.ca, Jeannette Janssen janssen@mathstat.dal.ca 
Coffee and cookies will be provided, courtesy of the Faculty of Computer Science

1301-1809 Barrington Street, Halifax, NS B3J 3K8

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