Collaborative Crisis Curation: Designing a Social Media Processing Tool for Emergency Managers
In this second quarter of a multi-quarter project, we will be continuing our work to design a collaborative platform for emergency managers to help them filter and organize the information streaming in from social media during crisis events. Emergency managers and disaster responders are increasingly turning to social media as a potential information source during disaster events. As they do this, they are faced with new challenges related to processing this flood of information, including finding strategies and tools to deal with the huge volume, noise, lost context, misinformation, etc.
In the Fall Quarter, we identified a research opportunity within this space and developed a research plan for designing a platform to help a virtual group of emergency managers track global events using social media. This quarter, we will continue the human-centered design process, moving from user studies to prototyping of our new tool. Our end-goals for the quarter are to produce a high-fidelity prototype of this tool and to write a paper describing our research and design.
Though this research is ongoing, there is some opportunity for a small number of students to begin in the Winter Quarter. We are particularly interesting in students with experience in the human-centered design process and with advanced prototyping skills (web and mobile), and/or students with development skills that can help with the software design and implementation of our tool (web scraping, web development, mobile development, databases, machine learning, etc).
If you would like to apply to join the existing group (for 2–3 credit hours of credit/no credit grade of HCDE 496/596), please send an email to Kate Starbird (email@example.com) with a few paragraphs describing why you are interested in the project, your relevant skills, and the number of credits you are seeking. Meetings are mandatory for all registered students.
Investigating ICT use during Mass Convergence Events
This quarter, my directed research group will focus broadly on the use of ICT, including social media and mobile technology, during mass convergence events. Impactful events in the physical world are now triggering digital convergence in the online sphere. We will look at large-scale interaction and collaboration—including behavior that takes place completely online as well as online-offline coordination activity—during events such as natural and man-made disasters, entertainment and sports events, and political protests.
Possible events for analysis include the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, the 2011 Joplin Tornado, the first week of the Occupy Wall Street protest, the 2012 Olympics, or future events.
The goal of this group is to bring together students who can approach this domain from different perspectives, pooling a variety of skills (including qualitative, quantitative and computational). You will be encouraged to bring or find your own research questions within this space.
Three (broad) areas for research are:
- Address specific questions about ICT-enabled human behavior during mass participation events, e.g.
- Design tools for research and/or real-time analysis of social media interaction during these events, e.g.
- Design tools to support the activities of those participating in these events (on-the-ground participants/fans/etc., emergency responders, organizers, digital volunteers, etc.)
Initially, the group will seek to understand the domain, sharing and discussing readings from research in the areas of crisis informatics, social media dynamics, crowdsourcing, etc. As the quarter progresses, we will work to identify and coalesce around specific research questions. End products may vary, depending upon the trajectory we take—publishing empirical research, designing and developing tools, etc. Long-term goals are to publish resulting work at appropriate conferences.
The group will meet weekly. Time and location TBD.
Please submit a one-page introduction to Kate Starbird (firstname.lastname@example.org) with an overview of your background, skills, and interest in the topic.