Amy Guy

Raw Blog

Friday, March 15, 2013

Week in review: mostly social computing

4th - 10th March

I played with the Tell Me Scotland SPARQL endpoint to put Scottish public notices on an OpenStreetMap:  It works intermittently, as the TMS endpoint is a 'proof of concept'.  Okay, that's not PhD related, but it's still interesting.

I went to the 5th OKFN Edinburgh meetup at Napier.  Look, evidence, I'm in the picture!

Dave Robertson asked me hard questions about how I'll turn my vague research interests and intentions to make something useful into a PhD with genuine contributions to knowledge and I floundered a bit, but he agreed to be my second supervisor nonetheless.  I hadn't properly thought about it in those terms, and I'm still figuring it out with like, words.  (As opposed to a gut feeling).  I'd always planned to plough ahead enthusiastically and hope for the best.  That's how I approach everything, actually.

I started reading Community-Based Annotation for the Semantic Web by Matthew Rowe (2007); I think it was a first-year PhD review, and I was primarily reference-harvesting.  More on that next week.

I attended a Social Informatics Cluster meeting, and heard about the Smart Society project; very much in its figuring out stages, but worth following as it appears to have many diverse goals, and various crowd-computation related outcomes might be relevant to what I'm doing.

I went to an ESALA lunchtime talk entitled 'Data Objects', by Ian Gwilt of Sheffield Hallam.  I have to admit, I was expecting something more technical and internet-of-things-y.  Actually data objects are primarily tangible visualisaitons; 3D printed, carved out of wood or sculpted from bronze.  The research was about how people reacted to and understood data differently when it was presented in different forms.  Interesting, and they got some very pretty artefacts out of it, but not directly relevant so I don't have room in my head to store it unfortunately.

I attended the new Social Computing interest group kick-off meeting, coordinated by Dave Murray-Rust.  Everyone introduced themselves, and we arranged a time slot for future meetings.  It looks like I'll be presenting there at some point in the probably not-so-distant future (it was decided that everyone should).  There were a very diverse bunch of people there, and 'social computing' hasn't been defined officially for the group yet.  Quite a few people are attending to essentially see what all the fuss is about.  I'm hopeful that there will be a hardcore technical leaning, because that's where most of the gaps in my knowledge are.  Well, I'm more gaps than knowledge about everything, but that's where I feel particularly vulnerable.