111 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2019
    1. The urgency of time may make it too onerous forthe extra effort of articulating actions as they are beingperformed, yet most emergency response requires somecommunication.

      Interaction of time (tempo/pace) and breakdowns in articulation work.

    2. Explicitly articulated narratives mayalso make clearer that multiple sequences of actions maybe occurring simultaneously, thus resolving role conflictsby allowing multiple ways to accomplish a task

      Evokes Schmidt and Bannon's articulation work in CSCW.

    1. In the context of disaster, social media and other ICTare enablingthe manifestation of a “knowledge commons” [11], a shared information space for victims, onlookers, and the convergent digital volunt

      Cites Elinor Ostrom's work on collective action and commons

      Evokes Benkler et al's work on peer production and commons.

    2. Disasters might be one of the few natural events that override the socio-temporal order; indeed, damage to the routines of social life is a defining characteristic that separates disasters from local emergencies and other disruption

      Evokes Zerubavel and temporal ordering

    3. In other words, the articulation work [24], which had to be made explicit previously, became in part implicit by being embedded in the document and in the actions taken upon the document.

      Evokes Schmidt and Bannon's articulation work

    4. Under the stress of the situation, with too many peopledoing too many things at once, the socio-technical infrastructure that underliestheirwork practice wasbreaking down. Star and Ruhleder [25] explain that infrastructure becomes visible only at these points of breakdown. Volunteers directedtheir attention to their social configuration as the critical infrastructure here (the technical infrastructure remains take

      Evokes Star's work on the invisibility of boundary infrastructure until a breakdown.

    5. Giddens’ theory of structuration explains how social structures, defined as rules and resources or transformational relations, are both the products and the pathways of human action [10]. Employing the concept of duality of structure, Giddens contends that social action both shapes and is shaped by these structures. Orlikowski [20] provides a duality of technology framework for applying structuration theory to research on the role of information technology (IT) within organizational change, whereIT is both the product of human action and a medium of human action, functioning to enable and constrain it. The communication constitutes organization perspective again extends structuration to communicative processes, claiming that communication and the organization co-produce and co-adapt[23], and provides a helpful approach for examining organizing within the virtual organization though the digital traces of its communication [4].

      Definition of structuration theory and application to using ICT digital traces as a resource for studying how digital volunteers organize themselves.

    6. Additional features of the disaster domain are that action is often fast-paced and social structures are emergent [15].

      Features of humanitarian response and relief work

    7. uited. Response and relief work ischaracterized byconvergence of people, information and resources. It is also characterized by improvisation, withvolunteers and formal responders alike innovatively adapting to unique and changing conditions, using resources in new ways, taking on new tasks and assembling into new organizational forms [7,9,15]

      Characteristics of humanitarian response and relief work

    8. Describing the from-scratch conditions of virtual organizing, Finholt et al. write that the “absence of prior structure means group members must develop new structures for sharing information, for example, norms or rules for reporting progress and division of labor” [8p. 292]

      Practices of virtual organizations (and digital humanitarian groups specifically). Evokes Benkler et al., Kittur et al descriptions of peer production group practices.

    9. relief. Virtual organizations are “geographically distributed [organizations] whose members are bound by a ... common interest or goal, and who communicate and coordinate their work through information technology”[1]

      Definition of virtual organizations.

    1. ces. In their study of the digital volunteers who instituted the “disaster desk” in response to the 2011 Peru earthquake,Starbird and Palen [34]reveal how work was restructured in response to the restructuring of the information environment volunteers were working in—which itself was an exasperated response to a confused division of labor and in the end enabled the group to sustain itself relative to its production functions

      Case study of Humanity Road

    2. The desire to assist in disaster events in some way is broad [12, 18], but the mechanisms for enabling action in the form of on-line work or commitment, as with other causes, can beunclear [22, 28, 30].

      Evokes Kittur et al's work on intrinsic and extrinsic motivations -- check to see what these papers actually cited

    3. METHODS

      Nice, concise description of the methods and how White triangulated the ethnographic approach with email, Facebook graph API data, and interviews.

    4. By examiningwork practices, and tracing how those practices are reified in the social-technical organization of a group that is forming and stabilizing as they do the work, we learn not just what this particular group did, but also how the mechanisms by which collective action in digital environments are organizedbottom-up. We also learn how those lessonsaregraduated into prescriptivetop-down direction to sustain and direct future action

      Interesting frame of reference for this study that also helps to unpack the contribution of the SBTF research.

      Perhaps Elinor Ostrom's work could be helpful here too.

    5. Following Orlikowski [29], this analysis unites both practice-based [35]and structurational-basedinterpretations of coordination and social organization [8] to understand the nature of collective work in large, distributed,and emergent groups—groups that havesome existing common motivation to help but have little prior precedent for how that work might be conducted[21]

      Get Orlikowski's paper to demystify Gidden's work on structuration theory.

    6. In the domain of pet advocacy, the latent potential for crowd interaction comes fromintrinsic and extrinsic motivations—we focus on how that potentialwas transformed intoa viable form of distributed, decentralized cooperative work.

      Evokes Kittur, et al's work on peer production/crowd motivation

    1. As Rosner [35] explains, this goes beyond the “affordances” of objects [28] and instead goes to what the tools represent to their craft and their expert execution of w

      White describes how worker expertise superceded affordances of the material objects (trailers, equipment, ropes, etc.)

    2. Furthermore, tolink this back to the matter of expertise, we see thatexpertise was displayed through material objects:people wore clothing that was consistent with their identification as equine experts (such asboots and cowboy hats),and the Posse memberswore theiruniforms.At the ranch, onejob was to hand out halters and lead ropesto riders. If riders’preferred materials were not available,their expertise allowed them to adapt to what was at

      Linkage of expertise and materiality in the response work

    3. Calling upon media theory, which considers how mass media frames and focusesthekind ofattention an eventreceives,e.g., [4,8], social media can do the same.

      Evokes media framing and Chouliaraki's work on distant suffering

    4. priori. Such is the situation with disaster.We easily dismisshow uncertainsituations of disaster areor can become, and how a goalin safety-critical work is to avert situations beforethey become problems. Much of the work in safety-and time-critical matters in CSCW appreciates the implications of this goalon vigilance, mutual awareness, and, of course, error, especially propagated error. It is all too easy to blame “pilot error” when a sequence of preceding systemic conditions took place to set a pilot up for perceiving the problem as he or she did [34,48], including one that warns of hazard. Indeed, disaster can magnifyproblems, not necessarily out of proportion, though that can happen, but rather too so that wefocusonspecific detailswhen many things are happening.

      Evokes distributed cognition (Hutchins) as well as the uncertain nature of safety- and time-critical work and how to classify risk/need.

    5. Expertise is a type of embedded knowledgedeveloped within a cultural, social and cognitive environment[6].Expertiseistheability to apply knowledge in different contexts[6], including in emergent situations that require experts to improvise, as Normark and Randall note [29]

      Definition of expertise

    6. Mendonça, et al.[26] and Kendra and Wachtendorf [20] have characterized this as improvisation, whichhas strong parallels to the conversations in CSCW about the nature of situated cognition or situated work [14,44], as well as the relationship between informal as well as formal aspects of work [30,44]

      Evokes situated action (Suchman) and distributed cognition (Hutchins)

    7. Threaded throughout thesearguments is the idea of distributed cognition particularly as it materializes in the on-the-ground work, but also through prior online preparation.Through this lens, we see how ideation ofsolutions sprung from uncertainexpressions ofproblem statementswhich were quickly forwardedto the local (or local enough) domain experts—horsepeople in Colora

      Evokes distributed cognition

    8. Ethnographic Investigation

      Nice, succinct description of the ethnographic method

    9. Finally, a maincontribution of this research lies in the examination of the solicitation of expertise in a digitally-connected world, where widely distributed and diverse expertise must nevertheless be realized under highly localized conditions.

      Evokes crowdsourcing/peer production literature on expertise (Majchrzak et al, Faraj et al, Benkler et al, Kittur,et al.)

    10. We see how problem definition, work articulation [37], and the materiality of work[27,35] come together to make the work happen in asocially-, spatially-, and temporally-distributed matter[14].

      Evokes articulation work (Schmidt and Bannon) and materiality (Bowker and Star; Miller; Zerubavel; Csikszentmihalyi)

    11. We see howperformances aroundpaperwork intended to connect the online to the offlineare once again superficial[44], and that the offline work is refiguredat the very endprimarily to communicate its successful completion back to a waiting, online crow

      Evokes Goffman's work on performance and identity

    12. In this online-meets-offline account of cooperative work, we see connections to the classic literature in CSCWaround matters of mutual awareness in safety-critical systems[12]that is partially achieved online andonly “satisficingly”[38] achieved

      Evokes Simon's theory of satisficing

    13. Disconnection Between Offline & Online ResponseIndeed, amajor criticism of much current crisis social mediaresearch is that it does not consider the relationship between online work and offline or on-the-ground activities(Wulf, et al.[49]is a notable published location, and it isadiscussion often brought up at conferencesand in paper reviews). It is an important conce

      Central questions about the efficacy and value of digital humanitarian work:

      • Is online data collection/analysis/artifacts making its way to on-the-ground responders?

      • Is the online data collection then overstated?

      • Do we need to add field work to our approaches to digital humanitarian research?

      • Rethink methods for how to capture/analyze subtle online-offline connections

      Lots of grist here for dissertation studies

    1. By ignoring the diversity and discord of the ‘goals’ of theparticipants involved, the differentiation of strategies, and the incongruence of theconceptual frames of reference within a cooperating ensemble, much of the currentCSCW research evades the problem of how to provide computer support for peoplecooperating through the establishment of a common information space.

      Has this design challege been adequately addressed in CSCW (and CHI, for that matter) in the last 30-ish years?

    2. On the one hand, the visibility requirement is amplified by this divergence. Thatis, knowledge of the identity of the originator and the situational context motivat-ing the production and dissemination of the information is required so as to enableany user of the information to interpret the likely motives of the originator. On theother hand, however, the visibility requirement is moderated by the divergence ofinterests and motives. A certain degree of opaqueness is required for discretionarydecision making to be conducted in an environment charged with colliding inter-ests. Hence,visibility must be bounded.

      What role does system meta data (version control, user history, etc.) play in bounding the visibility of decision making?

      This also seems to be an area ripe for more collaborative design approaches (participatory, reflective, feminist, etc.)

    3. Thus, a computer-basedsystem supporting cooperative work involving decision making should enhancethe ability of cooperating workers to interrelate their partial and parochial domainknowledge and facilitate the expression and communication of alternative perspec-tives on a given problem. This requires a representation of the problem domainas a whole as well as a representation, in some form, of the mappings betweenperspectives on that problem domain.

      This seems to still be a major challenge in information system design as well as collaborative workflow. Even if the information/meta context is made available, do people use it?

    4. If the decision making process (1) involves a large and indefinite number of peo-ple, (2) requires the integration of a number of different perspectives or domains,and (3) continues for a protracted period of time or even indefinitely, the interpreta-tion of the objects in a common database and hence the construction of a commoninformation space is hampered by the fact that the other originators and recipientsare not co-present.

      Ways to better integrate people engaged in distributed work are needed.

      Is this still true some 27 years later?

      Three particular information quality problems are raised by Schmidt and Bannon:

      1) provenance (originator) of the information and his/her/its reliability

      2) context of the information

      3) politics of the information

    5. The fact that information produced by discretionary decision making cannotbe conveyed anonymously has important implications for CSCW systems design.Naturally, such information must be accompanied by the identity of the source.But how to represent and present the identity of the source?

      This dilemma also applies to the complexity of representing time in information systems.

    6. In cooperative work settings involving discretionary decision making, the exer-cise of mutual critique of the decisions arrived at by colleagues is required for allparticipants. Therefore, in order to be able to assess information generated by dis-cretionary decision making, each participant must be able to access the identity ofthe originator of a given unit of information.

      Source credibility is a complex problem for SBTF. it is not always clear how/why a person on social media has certain information, how they interpret it, and how they summarize it.

    7. At the level of the objects themselves, shareabilitymay not be a problem, but in terms of their interpretation, the actors must attempt tojointly construct a common information space which goes beyond their individualpersonal information spaces. A nice example of how this is a problem has been givenby Savage (1987, p. 6): ‘each functional department has its own set of meaningsfor key terms. [...] Key terms such aspart, project, subassembly, toleranceareunderstood differently in different parts of the company.’

      This would be good to explore with SBTF in the interviews. Particularly, whether there are different meanings to time modes, time meta data, etc., applied by Core Team, Coordinators, GIS Team, experienced volunteers, new volunteers, etc.

      Is this part of the problem with articulating the information extracted from social media and entering it in the Google Sheet in order to become an artifact?

    8. Their importance lies in the interpretation human actors place on themeaning of the representational object. The distinction between the material carrierof information—the object—and its meaning is crucial. The material representationof information in the common space (e.g., a letter, memo, drawing, file) exists asan objective phenomenon and can be manipulated as an artifact. The semantics ofthe information carried by the artifact, however, is, put crudely, ‘in the mind’ of thebeholder, and the acquisition of information conveyed by the artifacts requires aninterpretive activity on the part of the recipient. Thus, a common information spaceencompasses the artifacts that are accessible to a cooperative ensembleas well asthe meaning attributed to these artifacts by the actors.

      Here Schmidt and Bannon describe the basis for articulation work in a common information space -- which encompasses interactions and breakdowns between information, metaphors, sensemaking, and artifacts.

      From a time mode perspective, this gets at what I describe as synchronization.

    9. Cooperative work is not facilitated simply by the provision of a shared database, butrequires the active construction by the participants of a common information spacewhere the meanings of the shared objects are debated and resolved, at least locallyand temporarily. Objects must thus be interpreted and assigned meaning, meaningsthat are achieved by specific actors on specific occasions of use. Computer supportfor this aspect of cooperative work raises a host of interesting and difficult issues.

      Pretty much a nutshell of the SBTF time study challenges.

    10. These protocols, formal structures, plans, procedures, and schemes can be con-ceived of asmechanismsin the sense that they (1) are objectified in some way(explicitly stated, represented in material form), and (2) are deterministic or at leastgive reasonably predictable results if applied properly. And they aremechanisms ofinteractionin the sense that they reduce the complexity of articulating cooperativework.

      People apply "mechanisms of interaction" to reduce the complexity of the articulation work.

      Schmidt and Bannon use these examples:

      • Formal and informal organizational structures • Planning and scheduling • Standard operating procedures (see Suchman's work on situated action) • Indexes and classifications for organizational and retrieval (see Bowker and Star on boundary objects/infrastructures)

    11. Therefore, instead of pursuing the elusive aim of devising organizational modelsthat are not limited abstractions and thus in principle brittle when confronted withthe inexhaustible multiplicity of reality, organizational models in CSCW applica-tions should be conceived of asresourcesfor competent and responsible workers.

      Schmidt and Bannon posit that organizational models in CSCW should be flexible enough to support new interpretations/evaluations of the model (contingent on circumstances), as well as capture decisions to "adapt, circumvent, execute, modify, etc. the underlying model".

    12. In this section of the paper we broach two aspects of this articulation issue, onefocusing on the management of workflow, the other on the construction and manage-ment of what we term a ‘common information space’. The former concept has beenthe subject of discussion for some time, in the guise of such terms as office automa-tion and more recently, workflow automation. The latter concept has, in our view,been somewhat neglected, despite its critical importance for the accomplishmentof many distributed work activities

      A quick scan of ACM library papers that tag "articulation work" seems to indicate the "common information space" problem still has not attracted a lot of study. This could be a good entry point for my work with CSCW because time cuts across both workflow and information space.

      Nicely bundles boundary infrastructure, sense-making and distributed work

    13. Articulation work

      Definition of articulation work: "Articulation work arises as a integral part of cooperative work as a set of activities required to manage the distributed nature of cooperative work. In the words of Strauss (1985, p. 8), articulation work is ‘a kind of supra-type of work in any division of labor, done by the various actors’:

    14. However, in general cooperative workin real world settings has a number of characteristics that must be taken into accountif CSCW systems are to be acceptable to users and, hence, commercially viable:

      Characteristics of cooperative work:

      (Taken verbatim from the paper)

      "Cooperative ensembles are either large, or they are embedded within larger ensembles."

      "Cooperative ensembles are often transient formations, emerging to handle a particular situation after which they dissolve again".

      "Membership of cooperative ensembles is not stable and often even non-determinable. Cooperative ensembles typically intersect."

      "The pattern of interaction in cooperative work changes dynamically with the requirements and constraints of the situation."

      "Cooperative work is distributed physically, in time and space."

      "Cooperative work is distributed logically, in terms of control, in the sense that agents are semi-autonomous in their partial work."

      "Cooperative work involves incommensurate perspectives (professions, specialties, work functions, responsibilities) as well as incongruent strategies and discordant motives."

      "There are no omniscient agents in cooperative work in natural settings."

    15. A cooperative work arrangement arises simply because there is no omniscientand omnipotent agent. Specifically, a cooperative work arrangement may emerge inresponse to different requirements (Schmidt,1990):

      cooperative work arrangements include:

      (verbatim from paper) • "augment the mechanical and information processing capacities of human individuals"

      "combine the specialized activities of multiple workers"

      • "application of multiple problem solving strategies and heuristics to a given problem"

      "application of multiple perspectives and conceptions on a given problem"

    16. The Rich Diversity of Cooperative Work

      Three many take-aways from cooperative work:

      1. It involves people doing work with specific characteristics, e.g., distributed, formed as ensembles, etc.

      2. Cooperative work occurs to produce a product or service together because of "technical necessities or economic requirements"

      3. is not limited by specific forms of interaction between workers

    17. As a research effort that involves a large number of established disciplines,research areas, and communities, CSCW is an arena of discordant views, incom-mensurate perspectives, and incompatible agendas. However, in the conception ofCSCW proposed here—as a research area devoted to exploring and meeting the sup-port requirements of cooperative work arrangements, CSCW is basically adesignoriented research area. This is the common ground. Enter, and you must change.

      Circa 1992 this description of CSCW as a design-oriented research area made sense to find some common ground between the CS groupware faction and the org studies, designers, social science, etc. Does this still hold up today?

    18. CSCW should be conceived of asan endeavor to understand the nature andrequirements of cooperative work with the objective of designing computer-basedtechnologies for cooperative work arrangements.

      Definition of CSCW (per Schmidt and Bannon). This is contested.

      Schmidt and Bannon argue later (pg 49) that "If CSCW is to be taken seriously, the basic approach of CSCW research should not be descriptive but constructive."

  2. Dec 2018
    1. Our under-standing of the gap is driven by technological exploration through artifact cre-ation and deployment, but HCI and CSCW systems need to have at their corea fundamental understanding of how people really work and live in groups, or-ganizations, communities, and other forms of collective life. Otherwise, wewill produce unusable systems, badly mechanizing and distorting collabora-tion and other social activity.

      The risk of CSCW not driving toward a more scientific pursuit of social theory, understanding, and ethnomethodology and instead simply building "cool toys"

    2. The gap is also CSCW’s unique contribution. CSCW exists intellectually atthe boundary and interaction of technology and social settings. Its unique intel-lectual importance is at the confluence of technology and the social, and its

      CSCW's potential to become a science of the artificial resides in the study of interactions between society and technology

    3. Nonetheless, it has been argued here that theunique problem of CSCW is the social–technical gap. There is a fundamentalmismatch between what is required socially and what we can do technically.Human activity is highly nuanced and contextualized. However, we lack thetechnical mechanisms to fully support the social world uncovered by the socialfindings of CSCW. This social–technical gap is unlikely to go away, although itcertainly can be better understood and perhaps approached.

      Factors involved in the socio-technical gap:

      Social needs vs technical capacity

      Human activity

      Technical mechanisms continue to lag social insights

    4. Nonetheless, several guiding questions are required based on thesocial–technical gap and its role in any CSCW science of the artificial:• When can a computational system successfully ignore the need fornuance and context?• When can a computational system augment human activity withcomputer technologies suitably to make up for the loss in nuance andcontext, as argued in the approximation section earlier?• Can these benefits be systematized so that we know when we are add-ing benefit rather than creating loss?• What types of future research will solve some of the gaps betweentechnical capabilities and what people expect in their full range of so-cial and collaborative activities?

      Questions to consider in moving CSCW toward a science of the artificial

    5. The final first-order approximation is the creation of technical architecturesthat do not invoke the social–technical gap; these architectures neither requireaction nor delegate it. Instead, these architectures provide supportive oraugmentative facilities, such as advice, to users.

      Support infrastructures provide a different type of approximation to augment the user experience.

    6. Another approximation incorporates new computational mechanisms tosubstitute adequately for social mechanisms or to provide for new social issues(Hollan & Stornetta, 1992).

      Approximate a social need with a technical cue. Example in Google Docs of anonymous user icons on page indicates presence but not identity.

    7. First-order approximations, to adopt a metaphor from fluid dynamics, aretractable solutions that partially solve specific problems with knowntrade-offs.

      Definition of first-order approximations.

      Ackerman argues that CSCW needs a set of approximations that drive the development of initial work-arounds for the socio-technical gaps.

      Essentially, how to satisfy some social requirements and then approximate the trade-offs. Doesn't consider the product a solution in full but something to iterate and improve

      This may have been new/radical thinking 20 years ago but seems to have been largely adopted by the CSCW community

    8. Similarly, an educational perspective would argue that programmers andusers should understand the fundamental nature of the social requirements.

      Ackerman argues that CS education should include understanding how to design/build for social needs but also to appreciate the social impacts of technology.

    9. CSCW’s science, however, must centralize the necessary gap between whatwe would prefer to construct and what we can construct. To do this as a practi-cal program of action requires several steps—palliatives to ameliorate the cur-rent social conditions, first-order approximations to explore the design space,and fundamental lines of inquiry to create the science. These steps should de-velop into a new science of the artificial. In any case, the steps are necessary tomove forward intellectually within CSCW, given the nature of the social–tech-nical gap.

      Ackerman sets up the steps necessary for CSCW to become a science of the artificial and to try to resolve the socio-technical gap:

      Palliatives to ameliorate social conditions

      Approximations to explore the design space

      Lines of scientific inquiry

    10. Ideological initiatives include those that prioritize the needs of the peopleusing the systems.

      Approaches to address social conditions and "block troublesome impacts":

      Stakeholder analysis

      Participatory design

      Scandinavian approach to info system design requires trade union involvement

    11. Simon’s (1969/1981) book does not address the inevitable gaps betweenthe desired outcome and the means of producing that outcome for anylarge-scale design process, but CSCW researchers see these gaps as unavoid-able. The social–technical gap should not have been ignored by Simon.Yet, CSCW is exactly the type of science Simon envisioned, and CSCW couldserve as a reconstruction and renewal of Simon’s viewpoint, suitably revised. Asmuch as was AI, CSCW is inherently a science of the artificial,

      How Ackerman sees CSCW as a science of the artificial:

      "CSCW is at once an engineering discipline attempting to construct suitable systems for groups, organizations, and other collectivities, and at the same time, CSCW is a social science attempting to understand the basis for that construction in the social world (or everyday experience)."

    12. At a simple level,CSCW’s intellectual context is framed by social constructionism andethnomethodology (e.g., Berger & Luckmann, 1966; Garfinkel, 1967), systemstheories (e.g., Hutchins, 1995a), and many large-scale system experiences (e.g.,American urban renewal, nuclear power, and Vietnam). All of these pointed tothe complexities underlying any social activity, even those felt to be straightfor-ward.

      Succinct description of CSCW as social constructionism, ethnomethodlogy, system theory and large-scale system implementation.

    13. Yet,The Sciences of the Artificialbecame an an-them call for artificial intelligence and computer science. In the book he ar-gued for a path between the idea for a new science (such as economics orartificial intelligence) and the construction of that new science (perhaps withsome backtracking in the creation process). This argument was both charac-teristically logical and psychologically appealing for the time.

      Simon defines "Sciences of the Artificial" as new sciences/disciplines that synthesize knowledge that is technically or socially constructed or "created and maintained through human design and agency" as opposed to the natural sciences

    14. The HCI and CSCW research communitiesneed to ask what one might do to ameliorate the effects of the gap and to fur-ther understand the gap. I believe an answer—and a future HCI challenge—is toreconceptualize CSCW as a science of the artificial. This echoes Simon (1981)but properly updates his work for CSCW’s time and intellectual task.2

      Ackerman describes "CSCW as a science of the artificial" as a potential approach to reduce the socio-technical gap

    15. As Heilbroner (1994) and other researchers have argued, technological tra-jectories are responsive to social direction. I make the case that they may alsobe responsive to intellectual direction.1Indeed, a central premise of HCI isthat we should not force users to adapt.

      Ackerman concludes the discussion about socio-technical gaps that people should not be forced to adapt to technology.

      Technology can and should respond to social and intellectual direction.

      Cites Heilbroner (1994) who writes about technological determinism that I should take a look at


    16. The coevolutionary form of this argument is that we adapt resources in theenvironment to our needs. If the resources are capable of only partial satisfac-tion, then we slowly create new technical resources to better fit the need.

      Another argument that social practices should adapt and evolve alongside technology. Ackerman raises concerns about this viewpoint becoming "invisible" and simply accepted or assumed as a norm without question.

    17. A second argument against the significance of the gap is historically based.There are several variants: that we should adapt ourselves to the technology orthat we will coevolve with the technology.

      Alternatively, humans should adapt or coevolve with intractable technologies. Ackerman cites neo-Taylorism (an economic model that describes work produced by redundant processes and splintered socio-technical activities)

    18. A logically similar argument is that the problem is with the entire vonNeumann machine as classically developed, and new architectures will ame-liorate the gap. As Hutchins (1995a) and others (Clark, 1997) noted, the stan-dard model of the computer over the last 30 years was disembodied, separatedfrom the physical world by ill-defined (if defined) input and output devices.

      This related argument that neural network designed systems will overcome the socio-technical gap created by highly architected computer systems that are explicit and inflexible. Ackerman argues here, too, that the advances have not yet arrived and the gap has endured.

      Quick summary of von Neumann architecture


    19. First, it could be that CSCW researchers merely have not found the properkey to solve this social–technical gap, and that such a solution, using existingtechnologies, will shortly exist.

      One argument against the socio-technical gap is that future advances in technology will solve the problem. Ackerman argues this is unlikely since the gap has existed for more than 20 years despite attempts to bridge the gap.

    20. Theproblem, then, was centered by social scientists in the process of design. Cer-tainly, many studies in CSCW, HCI, information technology, and informa-tion science at least indirectly have emphasized a dichotomy betweendesigners, programmers, and implementers on one hand and the social ana-lyst on the other.

      Two different camps on how to resolve this problem:

      1) Change more flexible social activity/protocols to better align with technical limitations 2) Make systems more adaptable to ambiguity

    21. In particular, concurrency control problems arise when the software, data,and interface are distributed over several computers. Time delays when ex-changing potentially conflicting actions are especially worrisome. ... Ifconcurrency control is not established, people may invoke conflicting ac-tions. As a result, the group may become confused because displays are incon-sistent, and the groupware document corrupted due to events being handledout of order. (p. 207)

      This passage helps to explain the emphasis in CSCW papers on time/duration as a system design concern for workflow coordination (milliseconds between MTurk hits) versus time/representation considerations for system design

    22. Moreover,one of the CSCW findings was that such categorization (and especially howcategories are collapsed into meta-categories) is inherently political. The pre-ferred categories and categorization will differ from individual to individual.

      Categories have politics.

      See: Suchman's 1993 paper


    23. Because some of the idealization must be ignored to pro-vide a working solution, this trade-off provides much of the tension in anygiven implementation between “technically working” and “organizationallyworkable” systems. CSCW as a field is notable for its attention and concern tomanaging this tension.

      Nice summation of the human and technical tensions in CSCW

    24. Incentives are critical.

      Costs, motives, and incentives drive collaboration. Again, refer to peer production literature here from Benkler and Mako, and Kittur, Kraut, et al

    25. People not only adapt to their systems, they adapt their systems to theirneeds

      Another reference to matching technology to design heuristics -- user control and system/real world needs.

    26. There appears to be a critical mass problem for CSCW systems

      Perpetual problem but is critical mass more of market issue (large vs niche need and who will pay for it) or a technical issue (meets need vs low adoption due to being ahead of its time)?

    27. The norms for using a CSCW system are often actively negotiatedamong users.

      Community norms are well-discussed in the crowdsourcing and peer production literature.

      See: Benkler, Mako and Kittur, Kraut, et al

    28. Visibility of communication exchanges and of information enableslearning and greater efficiencies

      Evokes the distributed cognition literature as well peer production, crowdsourcing, and collective intelligence practices.

    29. eople prefer to know who else is present in a shared space, and they usethis awareness to guide their work

      Awareness, disclosure, and privacy concerns are key cognitive/perception needs to integrate into technologies. Social media and CMCs struggle with this knife edge a lot.

      It's also seems to be a big factor in SBTF social coordination that leads to over-compensating and pluritemporal loading of interactions between volunteers.

    30. Exceptions are normal in work processes.

      More specific reference to workflow as a prime CSCW concern. Exceptions, edge cases, and fluid roles need to be accommodated by technology.

    31. Members of organizations sometimes have differing (and multiple)goals, and conflict may be as important as cooperation in obtaining is-sue resolutions (Kling, 1991). Groups and organizations may not haveshared goals, knowledge, meanings, and histories (Heath & Luff,1996; Star & Ruhleder, 1994).

      A lot to unpack here as this bullet gets at the fundamental need for boundary objects (Star's work) to traverse sense-making, meanings, motives, and goals within artifacts.

    32. One finding of CSCW is that it is sometimes easier and better toaugment technical mechanisms with social mechanisms to control,regulate, or encourage behavior (Sproull & Kiesler, 1991)

      HCI / interface design heuristics re: user controls, etc.

      See: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/

    33. because people of-ten lack shared histories and meanings (especially when they are indiffering groups or organizations), information must berecontextualized to reuse experience or knowledge. Systems often as-sume a shared understanding of information.

      References Goffman's work on identity and representation.

      Touches again on Suchman's work on context in situations.

    34. Yet, systems often have considerable difficulty han-dling this detail and flexibility.

      This remains a problem in HCI/CSCW nearly two decades after this paper was published.


      Do the theories and models (symbolic vs non-symbolic) not adequately describe the human-side of the technical interaction? Or the technical-side of the human behavior/motive/need?

      Is the gap less nuance in (detail about) behavior and more a function of humans are fickle, contradictory, and illogical.

    35. Social activity is fluid and nuanced, and this makes systems techni-cally difficult to construct properly and often awkward to use.

      CSCW assumption.

      See also: Suchman's 1987 situated action book and contests in Vera and Simon's 1993 paper

      Gist of SA is that HCI (and its breakdowns) must be studied in real-life situations, knowing is inseparable from doing, and cognition can't be separated from context.

      Good summary here:





    36. March and Simon’s (1958; Simon, 1957) limited rational actormodel underlies CSCW

      Refers to Simon's argument that "decision makers have limited information processing capabilities" due to cognitive constraints that limit computational thinking, memory and recall.

      Instead of searching for the best outcome, people use a "good enough" standard. (see Tapia and Moore 2014 crisis informatics paper).

      "Satisficing" describes the process of ending the search for possible decisions once an option achieves a "good enough" alternative. (see Palen, Vieweg and Anderson, 2010 everyday analysts paper)

      See: http://oxfordre.com/politics/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228637-e-405

    37. I also arguelater that the challenge of the social–technical gap creates an opportunity to re-focus CSCW as a Simonian science of the artificial (where a science of the arti-ficial is suitably revised from Simon’s strictly empiricist grounds).

      Simonian Science of the Artificial refers to "a physical symbol system that has the necessary and sufficient means for intelligent action."

      From Simon, Herbert, "The Sciences of the Artificial," Third Edition (1996)

    38. In summary, they argue that human activity is highly flexible,nuanced, and contextualized and that computational entities such as informa-tion sharing, roles, and social norms need to be similarly flexible, nuanced, andcontextualized.

      CSCW assumptions about social activity

    39. Thesocial–technical gapis the divide between what we know we must support sociallyand what we can support technically. Exploring, understanding, and hopefullyameliorating this social–technical gap is the central challenge for CSCW as afield and one of the central problems for human–computer interaction.

      primary challenge for CSCW scholars and practitioners

  3. Aug 2018
    1. The term ‘enactment’ is used to preserve the central point that when people act, they bring events and structures into existence and set them in motion. People who act in organizations often produce structures, constraints, and opportunities that were not there before they took action.
    2. The way to counteract catastrophes, therefore, is to reduce tight coupling and interactive complexity. To do this, it seems important not to blame technology, but rather to look for and exag- gerate all possible human contributions to crises in the hope that we can spot some previously unnoticed contributions where we can exert leverage.

      The primary process- and design implication suggested by enactment is to increase the ways to leverage human action and sensemaking during crises.

    3. Perhaps the most important implication of enactment is that it might serve as the basis for an ideology of crisis prevention and management. By ideology, we mean a ‘relatively coherent set of beliefs that bind people together and explain their worlds in terms of cause-and-effect relations’ (Beyer, 1981, p. 166).

      Definition of ideology of crisis prevention and management. This concept gets at how beliefs influence enactment -- as both a process and product.

    4. Not only does action simplify tasks, it also often slows down the effects of one variable on another.

      Action helps to clarify the crisis through narrowing/focusing cause/effect and interactions. Again, Weick notes a temporal dimension (speed) of actions but doesn't explore it explicitly.

    5. Enactment affects crisis management through several means such as the psychology of control, effects of action on stress levels, speed of interactions, and ideology

      First mention of temporality as "speed of interactions"

    6. As people see more, they are more likely to notice things they can do something about, which confirms the perception of control and also reduces crisis intensity to lower levels by virtue of early intervention in its development

      "Information is Aid" also contributes to the idea that enactment can assert a sense of control.

    7. As forcefulness and ambiguity increase, enactment is more con- sequential, and more of the unfolding crisis is under the direct control of human action. Conversely, as action becomes more tentative and situations become more clearly structured, enactment processes will play a smaller role in crisis development and managment. Enactment, therefore, will have most effect on those portions of a crisis which are loosely coupled.

      Again, another argument for "Information is Aid" as a way to clarify the known situation, provide more complete descriptions of potential action, etc., this ultimately helps to decrease ambiguity.

    8. These possibili- ties are more likely to be seen if we think of large crises as the outcome of smaller scale enactments. When the enactment perspective is applied to crisis situations, several aspects stand out that are normally overlooked. To look for enactment themes in crises, for example, is to listen for verbs of enactment, words like manual control, intervene, cope, probe, alter, design, solve, decouple, try, peek and poke (Perrow, 1984, p. 333), talk, disregard, and improvise. These verbs may signify actions that have the potential to construct or limit later stages in an unfolding crisis

      Curious why temporality is never mentioned as a dynamic of enactment. It's somewhat implied in the idea of acting in the moment or responding after the fact, but sensemaking and social construction is inherently temporal.

    9. The assumptions that top management make about components within the firm often influence enactment in a manner similar to the mechanism of self-hlfdling prophecy. Many of these assumptions can increase or decrease the likelihood that small errors will escalate into major crises. Thus, assumptions are an important source of crisis prevention.

      Beyond the top management examples provided here, could expectations that DHN work is untrustworthy or inaccurate escalate crisis response due to incomplete situational awareness or an assumption it must be produced in a certain way?

    10. Capacity can also affect crisis potential through staffing decisions that affect the diversity of acts that are available. Enactment is labour-intensive, which means understaffing has serious effects.

      Diverse labor force is also a central principle of effective crowdsourcing and collective intelligence.

    11. Capacity and response repertoire affect crisis perception, because people see those events they feel they have the capacity to do something about. As capacities change, so too do perceptions and actions. This relationship is one of the crucial leverage points to improve crisis management.

      This gets at the idea of information as a form of humanitarian aid.

    12. Action in the form of capacity can affect crisis management through perception, distribution of competence and control within a hierarchy, and number and diversity of actors.

      Capacity seems to have an actor/agency quality to it.

    13. When action is irrevocable, public and volitional, the search for explanations becomes less casual because more is at stake. Explanations that are developed retrospec- tively to justify committed actions are often stronger than beliefs developed under other, less involving, conditions. A tenacious justification can produce selective attention, confident action, and self-confirmation. Tenacious justifications prefigure both perception and action, which means they are often self-confirming.

      Enactment becomes visible when retrosepctive sensemaking about the crisis event incorporates commitment/justification for previous actions.

      Commitment is a double-edged sword: It can help construct useful sensemaking or can perpetuate inaccurate assumptions.

      Is there a form of satisficing happening here?

    14. From the standpoint of enactment, initial responses do more than set the tone; they determine the trajectory of the crisis. Since people know what they have done only after they do it, people and their actions rapidly become part of the crisis. That is unavoidable. To become part of the problem means that people enact some of the environment they face. Had they not acted or had they acted differently, they would face a different set of problems, opportunities and constraints.

      crisis trajectory signals a temporal aspect to the event (Reddy's timeline dimension) and to a person's enactment (Reddy's horizon dimension).

    15. Thus, an enacted environment has both a public and a private face. Publicly, it is a construction that is usually visible to observers other than the actor. Privately, it is a map of if-then assertions in which actions are related to out- comes. These assertions serve as expectations about what will happen in the future.

      How does the process of social coordination influence the actions, interpretations, and predictions that are enacted from the map?

    16. At the heart of enactment is the idea that cognition lies in the path of the action. Action precedes cognition and focuses cognition. The sensemaking sequence implied in the phrase, ‘How can I know what I think until I see what I say?’ involves the action of talking, which lays down traces that are examined, so that cognitions can be inferred. These inferred cognitions then become pre- conceptions which partially affect the next episode of talk, which means the next set of traces deposited by talk are affected partially by previous labels and partially by current context. These earlier inferences also affect how the next episode of talk is examined and what is seen.

      Related to the preceding annotation, how does the social coordination process influence enactment?

      Are the volunteers "talking out loud" on Slack as a means of sensemaking to themselves or with others?

    17. An enacted environment is the residuum of changes produced by enactment. The word ‘residuum’ is preferred to the word ‘residue’ because residuum emphasizes that what is left after a process cannot be ignored or left out of account because it has potential significance (Webster‘s Dictionary of Synonyms, 1951, p. 694). The product of enactment is not an accident, an afterthought, or a byproduct. Instead, it is an orderly, material, social construction that is subject to multiple interpreta- tions. Enacted environments contain real objects such as reactors, pipes and valves. The existence of these objects is not questioned, but their significance, meaning, and content is. These objects are inconsequential until they are acted upon and then incorporated retrospectively into events, situations, and explanations.

      Enactment as an environment.

    18. Enactment is the social process by which a ‘material and symbolic record of action’ (Smircich and Stubbart, 1985, p. 726) is laid down. The process occurs in two steps. First, portions of the field of experience are bracketed and singled out for closer attention on the basis of preconceptions. Second, people act within the context of these bracketed elements, under the guidance of preconceptions, and often shape these elements in the direction of preconceptions (Powers, 1973). Thus, action tends to confirm preconceptions.

      Enactment as a process.

    1. Diverse as HROs may seem, we lump them together because they all operate in an unforgiving social and political environment, an environment rich with the potential for error, where the scale of consequences precludes learning through experimentation, and where to avoid failures in the face of shifting sources of vulnerability, complex processes are used to manage complex technology (Rochlin, 1993).

      High Reliability Organization (HRO) definition.

      Examples offered are: nuclear power plants, air traffic control systems, and space shuttles

    2. We will argue that HROs are important because they provide a window on a distinctive set of pro-cesses that foster effectiveness under trying conditions.The processes found in the best HROs provide the cognitive infrastructure that enables simultaneous adaptive learning and reliable performance.

      What are some concrete examples of"cognitive infrastructure", "simultaneous adaptive learning" and "reliable performance"?

    3. We then move to the heart of the analysis and argue that organizing for high reliability in the more effective HROs, is characterized by a preoccupation with failure, reluctance to simplify interpretations, sensitivity to operations, commitment to resilience, and underspecifi ed structuring. These processes reduce the inertial blind spots that allow failures to cumulate and produce catastrophic outcomes.

      Answers some questions from previous annotation but still need some concrete examples.

    1. We illustrate how the time as change paradigm helps to better capture the dynamic aspects of their data through three types of data temporality: TODO lists, reflective activity (biology research) and project management.

      One idea as an analog to the biologist example for DHN work is: data sheet (3W or other configuration depending on the deployment type), volunteers' sensemaking activity, and coordination work.

  4. May 2018
    1. Like Orlikowski and Yates, we are particularly concerned with the rela-tionship between temporality and practice, with the ways in which a nego-tiated temporal order arises within, and lends meaning to, individualactivities coordinated in concert. We believe that a detailed understanding ofthe relationship between temporality and practice provides a basis for both amore detailed analytic understanding of the temporality of collaboration, butalso for technological and representational advances in support of cooper-ative activity.

      Cite this to ground the need to study temporality and practice as a way forward for "technological and representational advances" in CSCW.

    2. One of the largest-scalestudies exploring this problem was undertaken at the University of Wash-ington (Fidel et al., 2000), where researchers investigated the information-seeking behavior of teams from two different companies, Boeing andMicrosoft (Poltrock et al., 2003). They found that each team had differentcommunication and information-seeking practices, and that current infor-mation systems are oriented toward individual rather than collaborativeinformation-seeking activities. In practice, though, information seeking isoften embedded in collaboration

      SBTF uses Google Sheets and Docs for information collection and shared documentation. Though Google products are billed as cloud-computing collaboration tools, it would be interesting to know if these systems remain oriented in individual information-seeking activities rather than collaborative.