Hackathon tracks

Track 1: What makes a community a community?

What, in the pattern of interaction, makes a group of people interacting on the Internet an online community? For example: is a Twitter conversation around a hashtag a community? We investigate this by comparing the interaction networks generated by relatively close-knit communities (like Imagination4People's mailing lists, or Edgeryders) to those generated by hashtags. What do we see? How could we describe why these two patterns are different, if they are? Thanks to community managers in the room means we have an independent qualitative assessment on the tightness of each community, that we can match to quantitative measures of structural cohesion in the networks.

Track2: Comparative analysis of interaction networks in online communities

We get to play with data from several online communities at once – what's more, data that have been pre-standardized by uploading them into Edgesense, so they are reasonably comparable. It is a good chance to dig deep into the data and try some comparative analysis. Do different communities give rise to different interaction networks? Or do they give rise to eerily similar ones? What drives similarities and differences?


March 10 2015

  • 9.30: Alberto Cottica, Wikitalia. Welcome, instructions and some shared vocabulary.
  • 10.00 Lee-Sean Huang, Purpose; Laura Manconi, InnovatoriPA; Noemi Salantiu, Edgeryders; Mark Klein, MIT – Collaboratorium. 10-minute walkthroughs of some online communities. What does the network representation show?
  • 11.00 Everyone. Hack away!
  • 13.00 Light lunch
  • 14.30 Alberto Cottica, Wikitalia
  • 18.00 Session ends

March 11 2015

  • 9.30: Alberto Cottica, Wikitalia. Day 2 check-in. Where groups have got and goals for the second day.
  • 10.00 Everyone. Hack away!
  • 13.00 Light lunch
  • 14.30 Everyone. Each group reports results to the others: discussion.
  • 15.30 Everyone. Producing session documentation and uploading it onto the web.



Why is debate fruitful and creative in some contexts, sterile and conflictual in others? Are there reliable tests for a debate’s good health? Can we predict how conversations will evolve? We will tackle these questions starting from a key idea: any conversation, both on- and offline, is a network of interactions across humans, i.e. a social network

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