2012 Summer Hackathon

The consortium for the science of socio-technical systems (CSST) is conducting an open call for individuals interested in helping to build the socio-technical infrastructure required to sustain a community. We are explicitly designing the social into the technical. Software folks call this “eating your own dog food”. It is rumored that Vannevar Bush’s conceptualization of the Memex originally targeted this workshop for final delivery.

This call is open to any doctoral candidate or untenured faculty member in a socio-technical discipline in the USA (NSF Funding Restrictions). Deadline for a one page description of interest is July 6th. Notifications will be delivered by July 10th.

Travel and lodging are paid for accepted applicants.

Email outdoors@acm.org for more information and to submit your expression of interest. Identify one (or more) of the four areas below as your principle interest.

The dates of our “Hackathon” are August 1st & 2nd at Bishops Lodge in New Mexico. We expect participants to fly in on July 31, and depart on August 3rd. This enables an evening of “social overlap” with this year’s CSST “Campers”, and two full days of “Hacking”.

These are some ideas, but we are open to turning this hackathon on its head and builiding what we really need. Some possible goals are as follows:

  1. Information architecture and gardening of an existing wiki. We suggest a “wiki librarian” for this role. During the hackathon this person will transform the information in the current wiki into a more structured architecture, and devise a draft set of practices for managing the wiki.
    • Hackathon resource requirements – 1 person dedicated; input from CSST leadership
    • Hackathon goals – a reorganization of the wiki and setting forth of guidelines for maintenance
    • Ongoing resource requirements – at least 6 peoples to be indoctrinated (there will be robes) into the structure and to act as gardeners of the wiki going forward. This includes standard practices of editing and reverting
    • Promotion of “wiki roles”. Participation is open to any member of the CSST community and, like on wikipedia, people will have the chance to “level up”. Our levels should be simple; “Contributor, Gardener and Jedi”, for example
  2. Resource and event publicity / Affiliate {member} management: CSST has an annual summer institute, and a number of workshops affiliated with the institute that occur over the course of a year. A list of community email lists and key contacts needs to be developed and managed over time. Also, an ongoing email list for promotion to CSST people needs to be maintained
    • Hackathon requirement – 2 people?
    • Hackathon goals – possibly the implementation of an open source social promotion type of system. A mailing list might be a good start; but the CSST community contains a set of interdisciplinary scholars who may have different specific interests. The identification of our membership and participation information into scholarly homes, conference participation and other key differentiators enables us to target messages to parts of the community without losing the attention of the whole community through over exposure
  3. Document and resource sharing management: Core readings, socio-tech data management plan templates, example research proposals and other document oriented resources are presently linked to the wiki, but this is not the optimal way for accessing, utilizing or sharing these kinds of structured pieces of information.
    • Hackathon Requirement – 2 people?
    • Hackathon Goals – Implment an indexed infrastructure for document sharing. Document versioning is likely called for. This is a particularly challenging problem because ease of use, search and awareness are all components in a successful sharing infrastructure like this. There are examples in the open source software community but I am not familiar with examples that are document based and not code based.
    • Ongoing resource requirements – unknown
  4. CSST “Interactive Map”: This could be derived from the membership list noted in item two (resource/event publicity). This may serve for promotion as well. The most technical of the tasks. One to two people are likely required. Some advance work could be done and probably should be done to determine the feasibility of this. Sub ideas:
    • CSST integration with Facebook so that the “geolocation” of CSST people at conferences can be determined
    • “CSST conference location awareness” – Know when people who are fellow CSST’rs are all at a conference. This could include integration with an application like foursquare. I am thinking of Birnholtz’s work studying “grinder” and other location awareness benefits … like “finding other CSST’ers at a conference. This could then be fed back into the map so that a collection of CSST’ers would be visible to the community.