GVU Brown Bag: Loren Terveen

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The Design and Analysis of Open Content Communities

The internet has enabled a new class of applications where users -- rather than designers or owners or managers - produce much of the value of the application. Social filtering systems -- as pioneered by sites like MovieLens and popularized in sites like Amazon.com -- took one step on this path. While site owners are responsible for entering the items of interest (movies, books, etc.), users add value by entering ratings, tags, reviews, etc. Other systems like wikis and open source software take user creation of content to a radical extreme: users produce all content. This idea might seem unlikely to work, but the success of systems like Wikipedia and Linux is proof to the contrary. I will report on several research projects that explore key issues in communities where users create content:

    * Who creates the value in these communities? How is work
      distributed across different types of users?
    * How can these communities get their members to work more
      effectively, e.g, to do more tasks and do them better?
    * How can open content communities concept be extended with
      geographic information to support local knowledge sharing

My collaborators and I have investigated these issues in Wikipedia,
the MovieLens film recommender community, and the Cyclopath geowiki
for bicyclists. 


Loren Terveen is a Professor of Computer Science at the
University of Minnesota.  His research interests include a variety of
topics in human-computer interaction and social computing. He helped
develop one of the early recommender web sites (PHOAKS) and recently
has led projects that have: revealed new information about how
valuable content is created on Wikipedia and the lifecycle of
Wikipedia users, produced and deployed new interface designs to
enhance participation in online communities, developed a novel
location-aware messaging system, and combined wiki and geographical
information systems technologies to create social web sites that let
people enter and access information about places in their local

Prof. Terveen received his Ph.D. 1991 from the University of Texas at
Austin, then spent 11 years at Bell Labs and AT&T Labs before joining
the University of Minnesota.  He has served the human-computer
interaction community in various leadership roles, including as
co-chair of the CHI and IUI conferences, program chair of CSCW, and a
member of the SIGCHI Executive Committee.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Renata Le Dantec
  • Created:01/24/2011
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016