Usees

Status

Eric P. S. Baumer. (2015). Usees. in ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). (Seoul). [23% acceptance rate]

Abstract:

HCI has developed a powerful vocabulary for thinking about, and methods for engaging with, users. Similarly, recent work has advanced complementary understanding of technology non-use. However, other spaces of interaction with technology may occur that sit uncomfortably between these two poles. This paper presents two case studies highlighting individuals who neither are clearly users of a system nor are clearly non-users. Based on these cases, the paper develops the concept of usee to help account for such situations that lie between existing analytic categories.

ACM

Broadening Exposure, Questioning Opinions, and Reading Patterns with Reflext: a Computational Support for Frame Reflection

Status

Eric P. S. Baumer, Claire Cipriani, Mitchell Davis, Gary He, Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky, James Kang, Jinjoo Lee, Justin Zupnick, and Geri K. Gay. (2014). Broadening Exposure, Questioning Opinions, and Reading Patterns with Reflext: a Computational Support for Frame Reflection. Journal of Information Technology and Politics, 11(1), 45-63.

ABSTRACT

Vast amounts of political coverage are generated daily online. Some tools have been developed to help keep track of what is being said, but fewer efforts focus on how things are being said, i.e., how issues are framed. This article presents a study of Reflext, an interactive visualization tool that leverages computational linguistic analysis to support reflection on the framing of political issues. This system was deployed in a field study, during which the tool was used by regular readers of political news coverage during the 2012 U.S. election campaign. The results describe the tool’s support for a variety of activities related to frame reflection, how users integrated tool use with their existing reading practices, and broader issues in how participants interpreted the computational analysis and visualization. These findings contribute to our understanding of how algorithmically based interactive systems might mediate both the practical experiences of and situated interpretation of framing in political content.

DOI | pdf

Limiting, Leaving, and (re)Lapsing: A Survey of Facebook Non-use Practices and Experiences

Status

Eric P. S. Baumer, Phil Adams, Vera Khovanskya, Tony Liao, Madeline E. Smith, Victoria Schwanda Sosik, Kaiton Williams. (2013). Limiting, Leaving, and (re)Lapsing: A Survey of Facebook Non-use Practices and Experiences. in ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). (Paris, France). [20% acceptance rate]

Abstract

Despite the abundance of research on social networking sites, relatively little research has studied those who choose not to use such sites. This paper presents results from a questionnaire of over 400 Internet users, focusing specifically on Facebook and those users who have left the service. Results show the lack of a clear, binary distinction between use and non-use, that various practices enable diverse ways and degrees of engagement with and disengagement from Facebook. Furthermore, qualitative analysis reveals numerous complex and interrelated motivations and justifications, both for leaving and for maintaining some type of connection. These motivations include: privacy, data misuse, productivity, banality, addiction, and external pressures. These results not only contribute to our understanding of online sociality by examining this under-explored area, but they also build on previous work to help advance how we conceptually account for the sociological processes of non-use.

ACM | pdf

Data

A full description of the questionnaire instrument and anonymized response data can be found here.

Developing Computational Supports for Frame Reflection

Status

Eric P. S. Baumer, Francesca Polletta, Nicole Pierski, Christopher Celaya, Karen Rosenblatt, and Geri K. Gay. (2013). Developing Computational Supports for Frame Reflection. in Proceedings of the iConference. (Fort Worth, TX). [36% acceptance rate]

Abstract

As the number and variety of sources for political information increase, it can become difficult to attend to the complexities of political issues. This difficulty lies not only in understanding what is being said, i.e. the content of an issue, but also how it is being said, i.e., the framing of the issue. This paper presents a prototype visualization tool designed to encourage attention to, and critical reflection about, the ways in which a political issue is framed. The tool visually presents linguistic analysis of documents about the issue of cap and trade. Results show that tool use interacted with participants’ prior views in affecting their ability to suggest novel framings of the issue, one potential indicator of frame reflection. Tool use also mediated participants’ exposure to different viewpoints. These findings help provide insights on how the design of tools for civic participation can help promote thoughtful, reflective political engagement.

HDL

Bloggers and Readers Blogging Together: Collaborative Co-Creation of Political Blogs

Status

Baumer, E.P.S., Sueyoshi, M., and Tomlinson, B. (2011). Bloggers and Readers Blogging Together: Collaborative Co-Creation of Political Blogs. Computer Supported Cooperative
Work
, 20(1-2), 1-36.

Abstract

A significant amount of research has focused on blogs, bloggers, and blogging. However, relatively little work has examined blog readers, their interactions with bloggers, or their impact on blogging. This paper presents a qualitative study focusing specifically on readers of political blogs to develop a better understanding of readers’ interactions with blogs and bloggers. This is the first such study to examine the same blogging activity from both readers’ and bloggers’ perspectives. Readers’ significance and contributions to blogs are examined through a number of themes, including: community membership and participation; the relationship between political ideology, reading habits, and political participation; and differences and similarities between mainstream media (MSM) and blogs. Based on these analyses, this paper argues that blogging is not only a social activity, but is a collaborative process of co-creation in which both bloggers and readers engage. Implications of this finding contribute to the study and understanding of reader participation, to the design of technologies for bloggers and blog readers, and to the development of theoretical understandings of social media.

DOI | pdf