Notes from the #lote4 session on using online tools to map/serve/render visible offline communities

Sat, 2014-10-25 12:30, La_Gaia

Presentation by Gaia and Jimmy

Gaia please put in a link to your slides.
How much you can understand about communities using online tools?
-door to door surveys to ask questions about community and how it looks like. You can ask the question through qualitative data -> gives you meaning and helps build the picture bit by bit and it’s really expensive
-or you can do big data: using online methods eg twitter -> get top level picture but it’s hard to attach meaning
Combining the two:
Worked in an area of London: 1700people
Trained community researchers to survey community members – 170 residents; also did ethnography. Hanging out with people
Coded both the survey data and ethnographic data -> mapping the network
Online: scanning twitter conversations
700 pieces of tweets/ blogs coded
-RTs built into relationships between twitterer and RT
->> Very different data reports from offline and online.
Dimensions of community that you find offline and dimensions you find online.
How this approach can help keep the database of a community current.
Group: Matt, Inga, Noemi, Alberto
Who can use the method? We are doubtful it would work at the city scale. The noise/signal in the (digital) data means it becomes a Big Data kind of thing. 
Could Edgeryders use it to supplement its own analysis? In a way, yes, because our own ethnography is almost RDF (people are connected to codes – note: we would need to better define edges – reification). 
Ethics. A bit uncomfortable there. We try to adhere to the principle that nobody should participate in a collective intelligence exercise without knowing they are. 

On the other hand, digital are nice because people lie. But maybe people need to lie when they are participating, and lies keep society together. Marketers need the stark truth of your real browsing history, but policy makers only compete for the noblest part of citizen’s allocation of time

Elvia: How can you formalize the structure of mini spaces for community conversations? Eg Facebook groups; collect all that data while still be mindful of the big data concerns
Helen: Gap analysis
Azzurra: what people say online is not entirely relevant to what their true interest/opinions are; we are unsure of the definition of the community; using the offline interaction to help bridge the gaps between online interaction