Coming Friday, on the invitation of Ralf Klamma, Sebastian Fiedler and I will host a workshop in Bonn at:

2nd International Symposium in Media Informatics – “Cow Paths: Agency in Social Software” – November 16-17, 2006, B-IT, Bonn, Germany

Social software – often connected to older forms of computer mediated communication (CMC) and newer discussion about online communities – can be defined as software that supports activities in digital social networks. The use of new digital media tools such as blogs, wikis, tagging and other communicative or multimedia assets create new challenges for interdisciplinary research in media informatics.

* What are the effects when media get agency in digital networks?
* How can we trace and understand collective processes on the internet?
* What is the role of visualisation?
* What is the role of social software on change processes in organisations?
* Are there new models of labour, new processes and new forms of organisations possible?
* Will users be empowered or will lack of data protection and privacy set free new genies?
* What is the impact of tools supporting social structures on the emancipation and appropriation?
* Which are the impacts on design and media?
* Will they help facilitating new forms of democracy, digital rights, and overcome the digital divide?
* Or will the hunt for digital reputation lead to cow paths where only cows walk by?

The second international symposium on perspectives in media informatics is organized jointly by the two leading collaborative research centres for media Media and cultural communication and Medienumbrueche, the
Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology B-IT, and the Network of Excellence on technology enhanced professional learning PROLEARN. It brings together researchers and practitioners from media informatics, sociology, ANT, law, media theory, social software, collaborative work and learning, to discuss current trends and emergent issues of sociality in digital networks in a mixture of invited talks and round table events. The event will be accompanied by online activities and practical exercises in social software.

Symposium Chairs
Ralf Klamma (RWTH Aachen University, SFB/FK 427)
Volker Wulf (University of Siegen, Fraunhofer FIT, SFB/FK 615)
Organizing Committee
Erika Linz (B-IT Bonn)
Marc Spaniol (RWTH Aachen University, SFB/FK 427)
Michael Veith (University of Siegen, SFB/FK 615)
Technical Organizer
Reinhard Linde (RWTH Aachen University)

Also looking forward to meeting Marc Smith of Microsoft Research there again.