Tag Archives: Serendipity Research

e-minters Online Social Architects: Recognition of Informal Learning in Communities of Interest

e-minters Online Social Architects: Recognition of Informal Learning in Communities of Interest

Niki Lambropoulos

Abstract

As an attempt for informal learning recognition in online Communities of Interest, theory in this chapter was extracted from a dialogue between the members of the e-mint community on lurkers, newcomers and online groupz-ware. Twenty-eight e-mint members offered practical insights for usability and sociability issues towards online communities. Additional theoretical support to the concepts is provided based on social psychology, education, management and communication studies. The theoretical framework that supports Informal Learning and Communities of Interest draws on late 19th century and middle 20th century theories as these were the eras of new approaches related to masses’ interaction. A new methodological framework for data extraction and data analysis is introduced using software-based Social Network Analysis and Content Analysis, on the cluster of messages about lurkers, newcomers and the features of online groupz-ware.

Citation

Niki Lambropoulos (In Press). e-minters Online Social Architects: Recognition of Informal Learning in Communities of Interest. International Journal of Internet Trolling and Online Participation.

Chrono-Spatial Intelligence in Global Systems Science and Social Media: Predictions for Proactive Political Decision Making

Chrono-Spatial Intelligence in Global Systems Science and Social Media: Predictions for Proactive Political Decision Making

Niki Lambropoulos, Habib M. Fardoun & Daniyal M. Alghazzawi

Abstract

This paper discusses the advantage of social media in providing continuous non-liner, non-redundant information, taking advantage Global Systems Science (GSS) research tools and techniques. GSS matrix can indicate series of fortunate and unfortunate events that are not isolated but rather connected in time and space, sometimes appearing as events rising from serendipity. This proposition suggests that such hidden connections can be a new form of multiple intelligence named Chrono-Spatial Intelligence This is occurring by apparent or hidden connections between human or machine generated data and the time these occur so to investigate their connecting nodes, also linked to political decision making and learning. Although major prediction frameworks and systems exist as part of the GSS, it seems they cannot not successfully indicate or predict major or massive activities with global impact following the latest global events. Social media, semantic associations, local security camera data and other information have not been connected and analysed enough to predict undesirable events. Therefore, the main aim of this proposition is the identification, analysis and understanding connections between real-time political events for time-space investigation as Chrono-Spatial Intelligence. A second aim is to identify tools, methodologies and evaluation techniques to facilitate shedding light in Chrono-Spatial Intelligence understanding, analysis and impact related to political decision making, as for example quality in education. Future research suggests the proposition implementation.

Citation

Niki Lambropoulos, Habib M. Fardoun & Daniyal M. Alghazzawi (2016). Chrono-Spatial Intelligence in Global Systems Science and Social Media: Predictions for Proactive Political Decision Making. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (9742), pp 201-208. Available at: http://resources.crocels.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/chrono-spatial-intelligence-in-global-systems-science-and-social-media.pdf

Academics’ Responses to Encountered Information: Context Matters

Academics’ Responses to Encountered Information: Context Matters

Shelia Pontis, Genovefa Kefalidou, Ann Blandford, Jamie Forth, Stephann Makri, Sarah Sharples, Geraint Wiggins & Mel Woods

Abstract

An increasing number of tools are being developed to help academics interact with information, but little is known about the benefits of those tools for their users. This study evaluated academics’ receptiveness to information proposed by a mobile app, the SerenA Notebook: information that is based in their inferred interests but does not relate directly to a prior recognized need. The evaluated app aimed at creating the experience of serendipitous encounters: generating ideas and inspiring thoughts, and potentially triggering follow‐up actions, by providing users with information related to their work and leisure interests in the form of suggestions. We studied how 20 academics interacted with messages sent by the mobile app at a rate of 3 per day over ten consecutive days. Collected data sets were analyzed using thematic analysis. We found that contextual factors (location, activity and focus) strongly influenced academics’ responses to messages. Academics described some unsolicited information as interesting but irrelevant when they could not make immediate use of it. They highlighted filtering information as their major struggle rather than finding information. Some messages that were positively received acted as reminders of activities participants were meant to be doing but were postponing, or were relevant to ongoing activities at the time the information was received.

Citation

Shelia Pontis, Genovefa Kefalidou, Ann Blandford, Jamie Forth, Stephann Makri, Sarah Sharples, Geraint Wiggins & Mel Woods (2015). Academics’ Responses to Encountered Information: Context Matters. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 67 (8), pp. 1883-1903. Available at: http://resources.crocels.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/academics-responses-to-encountered-information-context-matters.pdf

“Making my own luck”: Serendipity strategies and how to support them in digital information environments

“Making my own luck”: Serendipity strategies and how to support them in digital information environments

Stephann Makri, Ann Blandford, Mel Woods, Sarah Sharples & Deborah Maxwell

Abstract

Serendipity occurs when unexpected circumstances and an ‘aha’ moment of insight result in a valuable, unanticipated outcome. Designing digital information environments to support serendipity can not only provide users with new knowledge, but also propel them in exciting directions they might not otherwise have travelled in – surprising and delighting them along the way. As serendipity involves unexpected circumstances it cannot be directly controlled, but it can potentially be influenced. However, to the best of our knowledge, no previous work has focused on providing a rich empirical understanding of how it might be influenced. We interviewed 14 creative professionals to identify their self-reported strategies aimed at increasing the likelihood of serendipity. These strategies form a framework for examining ways existing digital environments support serendipity and for considering how future environments can create opportunities for it. This is a new way of thinking about how to design for serendipity; by supporting the strategies found to increase its likelihood rather than attempting to support serendipity as a discrete phenomenon, digital environments not only have the potential to help users experience serendipity but also encourage them to adopt the strategies necessary to experience it more often.

Citation

Stephann Makri, Ann Blandford, Mel Woods, Sarah Sharples & Deborah Maxwell (2014). “Making my own luck”: Serendipity strategies and how to support them in digital information environments. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 85(11), pp.2179-2194. Available at: http://resources.crocels.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/serendipity-strategies-and-how-to-support-them-in-digital-information-environments.pdf

Designing a semantic sketchbook to create opportunities for serendipity

Designing a semantic sketchbook to create opportunities for serendipity

Mel Woods, Deborah Maxwell, Stephann Makri, Diana Bental, Genovefa Kefalidou, Sarah Sharples

Abstract

Serendipity is where unexpected circumstances and an insightful ‘aha’ moment result in a valuable outcome. We discuss how interactive systems can support the process of serendipity: from making new connections, to projecting and exploiting their potential value. We focus in particular on how technology can support reflection – which is an important part of the serendipity process. By considering findings from a set of empirical studies and a set of design principles aimed at encouraging reflection, we present an early stage digital ‘Semantic Sketchbook’ which was designed with the aim of supporting reflection (as well as other aspects of the process of serendipity). We discuss how our ‘Semantic Sketchbook’ has the potential to create opportunities for serendipity and the next steps we intend to take in developing it and evaluating its success.

Citation

Mel Woods, Deborah Maxwell, Stephann Makri, Diana Bental, Genovefa Kefalidou, Sarah Sharples (2012). Designing a semantic sketchbook to create opportunities for serendipity. Proceedings of the 26th Annual BCS Interaction Specialist Group Conference on People and Computers (HCI’12). (pp. 357-362). Available at: http://resources.crocels.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/designing-a-semantic-sketchbook-to-create-opportunities-for-serendipity.pdf

Coming across academic social media content serendipitously

Coming across academic social media content serendipitously

Laura Dantonio, Stephann Makri, Ann Blandford

Abstract

We wanted to find out whether students come across academic social media content serendipitously and, if so, to gain a detailed understanding of their experiences. To achieve this aim, we conducted semi-structured Critical Incident interviews with 15 postgraduate students from various disciplines. We found that the students did indeed come across academic social media content serendipitously – often when undertaking unfocused browsing during a break from other academic work. Time investment was identified as an important over-arching theme: investing time in creating and sharing social media content led to the creation of opportunities for serendipity for both the person creating/sharing the content and others. The interviews also highlighted a time investment trade-off – where more time spent using social media was perceived to provide greater opportunity for serendipity but, as serendipity can never be guaranteed, it was also perceived to increase the chance that none of the information encountered would contribute to the interviewees’ academic research (and therefore would be ‘wasted’ time). We make a number of suggestions for the design of social media tools that create opportunities for serendipity based on our findings.

Citation

Laura Dantonio, Stephann Makri, Ann Blandford (2012), Coming across academic social media content serendipitously. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology 49(1), pp.1–10. Available at: http://resources.crocels.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/coming-across-academic-social-media-content-serendipitously.pdf

A user-centred mobile diary study approach to understanding serendipity in information research

A user-centred mobile diary study approach to understanding serendipity in information research

Sun Xu, Sarah Sharples, Stephann Makri

Abstract

While serendipity is gaining increasing attention in the context of information research these years, there is a lack of empirical evidence to demonstrate the nature of serendipity in literature. Method. We conducted a diary study with eleven participations to understand serendipity in information research. A mobile diary application was developed which allows participants to rapidly capture how serendipity happens in their daily life and the context in which they experience serendipity for one week. Their diary entries were discussed during post-study interviews. Analysis. An Emergent Themes Analysis was conducted to understand our data. Results. We identified: 1) some key elements to support understanding of serendipity, 2) the influential role of context in serendipitous experiences, 3) a framework of understanding how serendipity happens and 4) the positive impacts of serendipity in people’s information research. Conclusions. Our research suggests that a framework for classifying serendipity should consider aspects associated with the activity, the value of the information, the source of the information and the interaction between the individual and the context.

Citation

Xu Sun, Sarah Sharples & Stephann Makri (2011). A user-centred mobile diary study approach to understanding serendipity in information research. Information Research 16(3), paper 492. Available at: http://resources.crocels.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/a-user-centred-mobile-diary-study-approach-to-understanding-serendipity-in-information-research.pdf

Supporting serendipity in data mining and information foraging

Supporting serendipity in data mining and information
foraging

Russell Beale

Abstract

Serendipity is the making of fortunate discoveries by accident, and is one of the cornerstones of scientific progress. In today’s world of digital data and media, there is now a vast quantity of material that we could potentially encounter, and so there is an increased opportunity of being able to discover interesting things. However, the availability of material does not imply that we will be able to actually find it; the sheer quantity of data mitigates against us being able to discover the interesting nuggets. This paper explores approaches we have taken to support users in their search for interesting and relevant information. The primary concept is the principle that it is more useful to augment user skills in information foraging than it is to try and replace them. We have taken a variety of artificial intelligence, statistical, and visualisation techniques, and combined them with careful design approaches to provide supportive systems that monitor user actions, garner additional information from their surrounding environment and use this enhanced understanding to offer supplemental information that aids the user in their interaction with the system. We present two different systems that have been designed and developed according to these principles. The first system is a data mining system that allows interactive exploration of the data, allowing the user to pose different questions and understand information at different levels of detail. The second supports information foraging of a different sort, aiming to augment users browsing habits in order to help them surf the internet more effectively. Both use ambient intelligence techniques to provide a richer context for the interaction and to help guide it in more effective ways: both have the user as the focal point of the interaction, in control of an iterative exploratory process, working in indirect collaboration with the artificial intelligence components. Each of these systems contains some important concepts of their own: the data mining system has a symbolic genetic algorithm which can be tuned in novel ways to aid knowledge discovery, and which reports results in a user-comprehensible format. The visualisation system supports high-dimensional data, dynamically organised in a three-dimensional space and grouped by similarity. The notions of similarity are further discussed in the internet browsing system, in which an approach to measuring similarity between web pages and a user’s interests is presented. We present details of both systems and evaluate their effectiveness.

Citation

Russell Beale (2007). Supporting serendipity in data mining and information foraging. International Journal of Human Computer Studies. Available at: http://resources.crocels.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/supporting-serendipity-in-data-mining-and-information-foraging.pdf

Supporting serendipity: Using ambient intelligence to augment user exploration for data mining and web browsing

Supporting serendipity: Using ambient intelligence to augment user exploration for data mining and web browsing

Russell Beale

Abstract

Serendipity is the making of fortunate discoveries by accident, and is one of the cornerstones of scientific progress. In today’s world of digital data and media, there is now a vast quantity of material that we could potentially encounter, and so there is an increased opportunity of being able to discover interesting things. However, the availability of material does not imply that we will be able to actually find it; the sheer quantity of data mitigates against us being able to discover the interesting nuggets.

This paper explores approaches we have taken to support users in their search for interesting and relevant information. The primary concept is the principle that it is more useful to augment user skills in information foraging than it is to try and replace them. We have taken a variety of artificial intelligence, statistical, and visualisation techniques, and combined them with careful design approaches to provide supportive systems that monitor user actions, garner additional information from their surrounding environment and use this enhanced understanding to offer supplemental information that aids the user in their interaction with the system.

We present two different systems that have been designed and developed according to these principles. The first system is a data mining system that allows interactive exploration of the data, allowing the user to pose different questions and understand information at different levels of detail. The second supports information foraging of a different sort, aiming to augment users browsing habits in order to help them surf the internet more effectively. Both use ambient intelligence techniques to provide a richer context for the interaction and to help guide it in more effective ways: both have the user as the focal point of the interaction, in control of an iterative exploratory process, working in indirect collaboration with the artificial intelligence components.

Each of these systems contains some important concepts of their own: the data mining system has a symbolic genetic algorithm which can be tuned in novel ways to aid knowledge discovery, and which reports results in a user-comprehensible format. The visualisation system supports high-dimensional data, dynamically organised in a three-dimensional space and grouped by similarity. The notions of similarity are further discussed in the internet browsing system, in which an approach to measuring similarity between web pages and a user’s interests is presented. We present details of both systems and evaluate their effectiveness.

Citation

Russell Beale (2007). Supporting serendipity: Using ambient intelligence to augment user exploration for data mining and web browsing. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 65 (5), pp.421–433. Available at: http://resources.crocels.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/supporting-serendipity-ambient-intelligence-augument-user-exploration.pdf