Amy Guy

Raw Blog

Friday, August 02, 2013

Vague thoughts about content creators and the Semantic Web

I had two meetings with Dave Robertson, my second supervisor, about what on earth I'm doing, and here is a vague summary of my thoughts afterwards.

I came to the realisation between meetings that I need to scrap the term Amateur Creative Digital Content, because amateur doesn't really apply by its true definition and creative is too subjective anyway.

Focus on content creators, not content (so previous point doesn't matter so much anyway; maybe just need to look at existing ways people are describing types of users to make it clear who I'm concentrating on).

In terms of emphasis of the thesis, I need to make a choice between taking a cognitive science/sociology perspective and a tecchie/engineering perspective (I choose tech because that's where I'm most comfortable, but the sociology side of things is still important).

(Therefore) I need to think concretely now about technology architecture.

Not to get too hung up on the Semantic Web; the technologies are a vehicle for testing theories, rather than an end in itself (though I still think facilitating a big linked data set of this sort of data is useful in the long run for research and practical applications, I didn't labour that point).

Social machines, and how Dave's process modelling language fits in, which I think I get in theory but not practice (I'd probably have to look at a working application and code to understand really). Some of the principles may be useful further down the line, but probably not the language itself or anything.

Technology-wise, I'm not thinking about anything novel or new, but more new ways for how various Web and SW technologies are combined and applied to this domain. (?)

So maybe the novelty is in marking up various things about content creators and using this to infer information about the processes they're involved in (or want to be involved in) in order to then facilitate these processes, without (necessarily) ever explicitly representing these processes (because from the content creators' perspective, they're certainly not thinking in terms of formal representations of processes, and in many cases won't know what they're trying to make until it's done, for example).

How to represent the inferences made might be novel and exciting, but I don't know.

Hmm, I still don't think I've figured out how to evaluate .. anything. Beyond comparing activities of users with magical-new-system vs without magical-new-system. And maybe, going back to the this-big-dataset-is-useful idea, by finding questions we can now ask about these kinds of communities that we couldn't before because they were so fragmented.