Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Communities

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Saturday 10th March 2012

  • Communities of Transparency: Open Data in Action

    by Francisca Rojas and Frank Hebbert

    Many cities and public agencies are opening up their data to promote accountability, empower citizens, and deliver better services. But just releasing data is not enough to achieve these desired outcomes. Most open government initiatives are supply-side efforts that release data that is too obscure, too complex, or too out of date to be valuable to citizens. This session explores three open data cases where we have seen success (public transit), failure (federal spending), and promise (open311). We show how co-production between policymakers, techies, and civic innovators is crucial to translating data into useful information for a targeted audience of local, yet diverse, users. In these communities of transparency, leadership, collaboration, local knowledge, feedback loops, and iterative design work together to forge the pathways for more meaningful transparency and participation in our communities.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • The Social Organization

    by Mark McDonald

    Not all organizational challenges or objectives are best handled by social communities of employees, advocates, fans, etc. Gartner explains how to determine when a community can get the job done better, when it won’t and the risks of misapplying social communities for a brand's reputation, business objectives and relationships with key audiences. This session will highlight the experiences of organizations across a number of industries to illustrate the power of communities and related best practices and mishaps.

    At 3:30pm to 3:50pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Ballroom G, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • Sex Nets: Pickup Artists vs. Feminists

    by Adam Lyons, Amanda Marcotte, Kristin Cerda, Clarisse Thorn and Charlie Nox

    Are sex-positive feminism and pickup artistry inherently opposed? Are they possibly dependent on each other? In recent years, the popularity of the pickup artist movement has placed the subject in popular cultural locations such as MTV and Oprah. The internet is ever birthing new discussions on all sides of the debate, and the realities of social media and geolocation technologies makes finding and building niche communities easier than ever. Are these methods helping average guys score, or is it an avenue to breed sexual predators? For or against, people from many backgrounds are weighing in on a discussion that is rooted in the most basic mediums of the web. Join a panel of men and women ranging from seasoned pick-up artists, to outspoken feminist bloggers, to those who straddle the line. No longer talking at each other, these experts in their fields will debate with each other the realities of the new sex rules, and what these rules mean in the context of a mediated life.

    At 6:30pm to 7:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Capital Ballroom B, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

Monday 12th March 2012

  • Designing Creative Online Communities for Kids

    by Andrés Monroy-Hernández

    In this presentation I will tell the story of the Scratch Online Community, a website where kids from around the world learn to program, share, and remix their own video games and animations. Today, the community has more than one million members, and two million projects. I will describe the design decisions, experiments, successes, and failures, that went into building and supporting this online community, and present a framework for the design of systems that support social creativity. I will end by connecting this framework to the social components of Kodu, a new programming language for kids. *The Scratch Online Community is a project I created as part of my work at the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. Kodu is developed by FUSE Labs at Microsoft Research.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Classroom 203, AT&T Conference Center

    Coverage audio clip

Tuesday 13th March 2012

  • IRL: Improving Communities with Social Media

    by Matthew Edwards, Kelly Weiss, Shelly Brisbin and Gretchen Rubin

    A recent survey of 17,000 people found that 60% of Americans believe that neighbors are worse today than they were 15 years ago. What role does social media play in this perception of decline? We’ll have perspectives from State Farm, which commissioned the large scale survey across all 50 states; Kelly Weiss, Executive Director of Austin Habitat for Humanity; and Gretchen Rubin, an author whose research has focused on the question of how connectedness affects our happiness – including how ties with neighbors and communities have an impact on our overall wellbeing.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Tuesday 13th March

    In Longhorn, Omni Downtown

    Coverage audio clip