International Conference on Computer Mediated Social Networking
(ICCMSN - 2008)
Dunedin, New Zealand
Conference dates: 11-13 June 2008
Submission date: 9th March 2008 (note the new submission date)
Although the use of HTML and early Web browsers expanded the Internet
experience from mostly one-to-one interactions to that of one-to-
many, this development still did not afford the sophisticated kinds
of social interactions undertaken by people in the real world.
Recently, however, new technologies (such as Weblogs, Web services,
RSS/Atom, tagging with folksonomies, and Wikis – sometimes
collectively called “Web 2.0") have appeared that offer more socially-
oriented network interactions. This has led to the new system
development mode of employing lightweight scripting languages to
bundle various Web 2.0 elements, or plugins, and then deploying them
on network servers, thereby establishing Social Network Systems
(SNS). The physical nature of the new network architectures is
increasingly heterogeneous, comprising more lightweight portable
devices (cell phones and PDAs) interacting with ever-more powerful
network servers that host SNS. From these developments have merged
such popular services such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster,
LiveJournal, Flickr, and YouTube. But analysts and observers predict
that SNS have much greater potential than merely exchanging media
files: these are expected to afford opportunities to meet and engage
in extended, creative, and more meaningful (in fact, unforeseeable)
interactions that will greatly enhance their Internet experiences.
How can this vision be achieved?
An important new platform technology where all these developments
come together is that of the new virtual environments, such as Second
Life and There, which enable people to meet and engage in virtual,
three-dimensional social interactions. The future of SNS will
certainly be played out on these platforms.
The Key Issues: In all societies, whether electronic or real, there
is a fundamental tension between freedom and rules. If the
interaction rules of behaviour are too rigid, people feel constrained
and leave the society. On the other hand, if interaction rules are
too lax, aimless inhabitants become bored – plus the society can be
overrun by vandals and free-riders. To address this concern we need
to explore the following questions:
• How can we facilitate effective structure in a SNS?
• How can we facilitate SNS collaboration/cooperation in
education, e-commerce, international research etc?
• How can collective knowledge be constructed and shared?
• What is the role of network topologies in disease spreading,
opinion dynamics, norm spreading, etc.?
• How can software agents be used in the development and
simulation of on-line societies?
• How can various Web 2.0 tools be integrated to satisfy the needs
of electronic communities?
• How can realistic virtual environments be modelled, designed and
• How can high speed networks, such as KAREN facilitate real world
experiences of virtual environments?
• How can privacy, security, and trust issues be addressed in on-
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