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Tracking online collaborative work as representational practice: Analysis and Tool

Summary: Tracking online collaborative work as representational
practice: Analysis and Tool
Johann Ari Larusson, Richard Alterman
Brandeis University, USA
johann@cs.brandeis.edu, alterman@cs.brandeis.edu
Abstract: In recent years wikis have enabled people to collaborate online
as a community of practice by allowing content to be modified freely by
any user. This platform has proven to be very successful despite its uncon-
ventional "anarchistic" and sometimes chaotic organization Wikipedia
being the most famous example. When people contribute to a wiki web site
their work takes place within a representational system comprised of mul-
tiple distributed representations such as the wiki pages and external web
sites related to the wiki topic. How much of the collaborative work in-
volves transferring information between the different representations?
How does the collaborative work emerge within the system and how is it
used by the participants to accomplish their goal? We present WikiPlayer,
a tool to visualize and replay the entire revision history of related wiki
pages as they collectively evolve over time. The player allows us to track
each user's contribution to a set of wiki pages, review the state of each
page at any given moment in the history, and easily generate statistics


Source: Alterman, Richard - Computer Science Department, Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis University


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences