- Jan 2019
Experimentation, the third affordance, refers to theuse of technology to encourage participants to try outnovel ideas.
Definition of experimentation.
Describes the use of comment/feedback boxes, ratings, polls, etc. to generate ideas for new coordination workflows, design ideas, workarounds, etc.
Recombinability refers to forms of technology-enabled action where individual contributors build oneach others’ contributions.
Definition of recombinability.
Cites Lessig in describing recombinability "as both a technology design issue and a community governance principle" for reusing/remixing/recombining knowledge
Reviewability refers to the enactment of technology-enabled new forms of working in which participantsare better able to view and manage the content offront and back narratives over time (West and Lakhani2008). By allowing participants to easily and collab-oratively review a range of ideas, technology-affordedreviewability helps the community respond to tensionsin disembodied ideas, because the reviews can provideimportant contextual information for building on others’ideas.
Definition of reviewability.
Faraj et al offer the example of Wikipedia edit log to track changes.
Technology platforms used by OCs can providea number of affordances for knowledge collabora-tion, three of which we mention here: reviewability,recombinability, and experimentation. These affordancesevolve as new participants provide new ways to use thetechnologies, new social norms are developed around thetechnology affordances, and new needs for fresh affor-dances are identified.
Ways that technology affordances can influence/motivate change in social coordination practices.
Given the fluid nature of OCsand their rapidly evolving technology platforms, and inline with calls to avoid dualistic thinking about tech-nology (Leonardi and Barley 2008, Markus and Silver2008, Orlikowski and Scott 2008), we suggest technol-ogy affordance as a generative response, one that viewstechnology, action, and roles as emergent, inseparable,and coevolving. Technology affordances offer a relationalperspective on human action, where neither the technol-ogy nor the actor is dominant in the sense that the tech-nology does not define what is possible for the actor todo, nor is the actor free from the limitations of the tech-nological environment. Instead, possibilities for actionemerge from the reciprocal interaction between actor andartifact (Gibson 1979, Zammuto et al. 2007). Thus, anaffordance perspective focuses on the organizing actionsthat are afforded by technology artifacts.
Interesting perspective on how technology affordances are a generative response to coordination tensions.
third response to manage tensions is to promoteknowledge collaboration by enacting dynamic bound-aries. In social sciences, although boundaries divide anddisintegrate collectives, they also coordinate and inte-grate social action (Bowker and Star 1999, Lamont andMolnár 2002). Fluidity brings the need for flexible andpermeable boundaries, but it is not only the propertiesof the boundaries but also their dynamicity that helpmanage tensions.
Cites Bowker and Star
Good examples of how boundaries co-evolve and take on new meanings follow this paragraph.
We have observed in OCs that no single narrative isable to keep participants informed about the current stateof the OC with respect to each tension. These commu-nities seem to develop two different types of narratives.Borrowing from Goffman (1959), we label the two nar-ratives the “front” and the “back” narratives.
Cites Goffman and the performative vs invisible aspects of social coordination work.
Based on our collective research on to date, we haveidentified that as tensions ebb and flow, OCs use (or,more precisely, participants engage in) any of the fourtypes of responses that seem to help the OC be gen-erative. The first generative response is labeledEngen-dering Roles in the Moment. In this response, membersenact specific roles that help turn the potentially negativeconsequences of a tension into positive consequences.The second generative response is labeledChannelingParticipation. In this response, members create a nar-rative that helps keep fluid participants informed ofthe state of the knowledge, with this narrative havinga necessary duality between a front narrative for gen-eral public consumption and a back narrative to airthe differences and emotions created by the tensions.The third generative response is labeledDynamicallyChanging Boundaries. In this response, OCs changetheir boundaries in ways that discourage or encouragecertain resources into and out of the communities at cer-tain times, depending on the nature of the tension. Thefourth generative response is labeledEvolving Technol-ogy Affordances. In this response, OCs iteratively evolvetheir technologies in use in ways that are embedded by,and become embedded into, iteratively enhanced socialnorms. These iterations help the OC to socially and tech-nically automate responses to tensions so that the com-munity does not unravel.
Productive responses to experienced tensions.
Evokes boundary objects (dynamically changing boundaries) and design affordances/heuristics (evolving technology affordances)
Tension 5: Positive and Negative Consequences ofTemporary ConvergenceThe classic models of knowledge collaboration in groupsgive particular weight to the need for convergence. Con-vergence around a single goal, direction, criterion, pro-cess, or solution helps counterbalance the forces ofdivergence, allowing diverse ideas to be framed, ana-lyzed, and coalesced into a single solution (Couger 1996,Isaksen and Treffinger 1985, Osborn 1953, Woodmanet al. 1993). In fluid OCs, convergence is still likelyto exist during knowledge collaboration, but the conver-gence is likely to be temporary and incomplete, oftenimplicit, and is situated among subsets of actors in thecommunity rather than the entire community.
Positive consequences: The temporary nature can advance creative uses of the knowledge without hewing to structures, norms or histories of online collaboration.
Negative consequences: Lack of P2P feedback may lead to withdrawal from the group. Pace of knowledge building can be slow and frustrating due to temporary, fleeting convergence dynamics of the group.
ension 2: Positive and Negative Consequencesof TimeA second tension is between the positive and negativeconsequences of the time that people spend contribut-ing to the OC. Knowledge collaboration requires thatindividuals spend time contributing to the OC’s virtualworkspace (Fleming and Waguespack 2007, Lakhani andvon Hippel 2003, Rafaeli and Ariel 2008). Time has apositive consequence for knowledge collaboration. Themore time people spend evolving others’ contributedideas and responding to others’ comments on thoseideas, the more the ideas can evolve
Positive consequences: Attention helps to advance the reuse/remix/recombination of knowledge
Negative consequences: "Old-timers" crowd out newcomers
Tension can lead to "unpredictable fluctuations in the collaborative process" such as labor shortages, lack of fresh ideas, in-balance between positive/negative consequences that catalyzes healthy fluidity
Need to consider other possibilities for time/temporal consequences. These examples seem lacking.
We argue that it is the fluidity, the tensions that flu-idity creates, and the dynamics in how the OC respondsto these tensions that make knowledge collaboration inOCs fundamentally different from knowledge collabora-tion in teams or other traditional organization structures.
Faraj et al identify 5 tensions that have received little attention in the literature (doesn't mean these are the only tensions):
passion, time, socially ambiguous identities, social disembodiment of ideas, and temporary convergence.
As fluctuations in resource endowments arise overtime because of the fluidity in the OC, these fluctua-tions in resources create fluctuations in tensions, makingsimple structural tactics for managing tensions such ascross-functional teams or divergent opinions (Sheremata2000) inadequate for fostering knowledge collaboration.As complex as these tension fluctuations are for the com-munity, it is precisely these tensions that provide thecatalyst for knowledge collaboration. Communities thatthen respond to these tensions generatively (rather thanin restrictive ways) will be able to realize this potential.Thus, it is not the simple presence of resources that fos-ter knowledge collaboration, but rather the presence ofongoing dynamic tensions within the OC that spur thecollaboration. We describe these tensions in the follow-ing section
Tension as a catalyst for knowledge work/collaboration
Fluidity requires us to look at the dynamics—i.e., thecontinuous and rapid changes in resources—rather thanthe presence or the structural form of the resources.Resources may flow from outside the OC (e.g., pas-sion) or be internally generated (e.g., convergence), sub-sequently influencing and influenced by action (Feldman2004). Resources come with the baggage of having bothpositive and negative consequences for knowledge col-laboration, creating a tension within the community inhow to manage the positive and negative consequencesin a manner similar to the one faced by ambidextrousorganizations (O’Reilly and Tushman 2004).
Fluidity vs material resources
However, failure to examine the critical roleof even the inactive participants in the functioning of thecommunity is to ignore that passive (and invisible) par-ticipation may be a step toward greater participation, aswhen individuals use passivity as a way to learn aboutthe collective in a form of peripheral legitimate partici-pation (Lave and Wenger 1991, Yeow et al. 2006).
Fluidity recognizes the highly flexible or permeableboundaries of OCs, where it is hard to figure out whois in the community and who is outside (Preece et al.2004) at any point in time, let alone over time. Theyare adaptive in that they change as the attention, actions,and interests of the collective of participants change overtime. Many individuals in an OC are at various stagesof exit and entry that change fluidly over time.
Evokes boundary objects and boundary infrastructures.
We argue that fluid-ity is a fundamental characteristic of OCs that makesknowledge collaboration in such settings possible. Assimply depicted in Figure 1, we envision OCs as fluidorganizational objects that are simultaneously morphingand yet retaining a recognizable shape (de Laet and Mol2000, Law 2002, Mol and Law 1994).
Definition of fluidity: "Fluid OCs are ones where boundaries, norms, participants, artifacts, interactions, and foci continually change over time..."
Faraj et al argue that OCs extend the definition of fluid objects in the existing literature.
a growing consensus on factors that moti-vate people to make contributions to these communities,including motivational factors based on self-interest (e.g.,Lakhani and von Hippel 2003, Lerner and Tirole 2002,von Hippel and von Krogh 2003), identity (Bagozzi andDholakia 2006, Blanchard and Markus 2004, Ma andAgarwal 2007, Ren et al. 2007, Stewart and Gosain2006), social capital (Nambisan and Baron 2010; Waskoand Faraj 2000, 2005; Wasko et al. 2009), and socialexchange (Faraj and Johnson 2011).
Motivations include: self-interest, identity, social capital, and social exchange, per org studies researchers.
Strange that Benkler, Kittur, Kraut and others' work is not cited here.
For instance, knowledge collaboration in OCscan occur without the structural mechanisms tradition-ally associated with knowledge collaboration in orga-nizational teams: stable membership, convergence afterdivergence, repeated people-to-people interactions, goal-sharing, and feelings of interdependence among groupmembers (Boland et al. 1994, Carlile 2002, Dougherty1992, Schrage 1995, Tsoukas 2009).
Differences between offline and online knowledge work
Online communities operate with fewer constraints from "social conventions, ownership, and hierarchies." Further, the ability to remix/reuse/recombine information into new, innovative forms of knowledge are easier to generate through collaborative technologies and ICT.
Knowledge collaboration is defined broadly as thesharing, transfer, accumulation, transformation, andcocreation of knowledge. In an OC, knowledge collab-oration involves individual acts of offering knowledgeto others as well as adding to, recombining, modify-ing, and integrating knowledge that others have con-tributed. Knowledge collaboration is a critical elementof the sustainability of OCs as individuals share andcombine their knowledge in ways that benefit them per-sonally, while contributing to the community’s greaterworth (Blanchard and Markus 2004, Jeppesen andFredericksen 2006, Murray and O’Mahoney 2007, vonHippel and von Krogh 2006, Wasko and Faraj 2000).
Definition of knowledge work
Online communities (OCs) are open collectives of dis-persed individuals with members who are not necessarilyknown or identifiable and who share common inter-ests, and these communities attend to both their indi-vidual and their collective welfare (Sproull and Arriaga2007).
Definition of online communities
- situated learning
- knowledge work
- online communities
- social coordination
- boundary objects
- Apr 2017
The venerableLISTSERV email lists such as mediev-l (founded in 1992) and other medieval-focusedlistservs are early instances of the digital democratization of scholarship, conducted as anasynchronous and geographically dispersed conversation.
Listservs and their relationship to Notes and Queries
firstwant to consider the ways in which our increased online presence has exposed manyof the existing networks that ground the sources of academic and intellectual authority(reputation, credibility, reliability).
How online communities have changed the way humanists work.
Fisher, Matthew. 2012. “Authority, Interoperability, and Digital Medieval Scholarship.” Literature Compass 9 (12): 955–64. doi:10.1111/lic3.12018.
/home/dan/.mozilla/firefox/rwihx4ee.default/zotero/storage/PHS4P7D6/Fisher - 2012 - Authority, Interoperability, and Digital Medieval .pdf
- Jul 2015
Grimmelmann, James. "The Virtues of Moderation." April 1, 2015. SSRN http://ssrn.com/abstract=2588493 keywords: moderation, online communities, semicommons, peer production, Wikipedia, MetaFilter, Reddit 17 Yale J.L. & Tech. 42 (2015) U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-8
- Jun 2014
Anna von Veh
Other articles on fanfiction and publishing by Anna von Veh
von Veh, Anna. 12 June 2012. What Can Trade Publishers Learn from Fanfiction?. Publishing Perspectives. von Veh, Anna. 12 October 2012. Why Fanfics are Like Startups. Publishing Perspectives. von Veh, Anna. 25 June 2013. Kindle Worlds: Bringing Fanfiction Into Line But Not Online?.
Lenz, Daniel. 31 May 2013. Anna von Veh über Perspektiven der „Kindle Worlds“. buchreport. Molinari, E, Draghi E. 11 February 2014. Anna von Veh: «Ecco perchè le fanfiction sono il prossimo business model per l'editoria»Giornale della Libreria. Frossard, Flavia. 29 January 2014. Digital Publishing Market and FanFiction – An Interview with Anna Von Veh. Widbook blog. Webb, Jen. 3 October 2011. The agile upside of XML. Interview with Anna von Veh and Mike McNamara. O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing.
Articles and posts on tech/art in publishing
von Veh, Anna. 10 May 2012. Let’s Improvise! Jazz as a Metaphor for Publishing Progress. Publishing Perspectives. von Veh, Anna. Musings on Digital: a collection of blog posts