Hacking the BBC

I spent several months last year working with a team of people, including Kevin, on a retrospective of BBC Backstage, which has now been released as a free ebook. As I wrote for the introduction: BBC Backstage was a five year initiative to radically open up the BBC, publishing information and data feeds, connecting people both inside and outside the… Read more →

Making it easier to climb the ladder of participation

There is no such thing as a perfect participation platform when it comes to building engagement around news and other content. Too often we try to outsource to technology what are really social functions that have to be done by human beings. In terms of social media journalism, the best examples come from journalists actively engaging with people to involve… Read more →

The social side of citizen science

I spent last Thursday and Friday at the Citizen Cyberscience Summit, listening to a series of presentations about how the public are collaborating with scientists to achieve together what neither group can do alone. It was a fascinating couple of days which illustrated the vast variety of projects either running currently or in the pipeline. We’ve all heard of SETI@home,… Read more →

Janos Barbero, The challenge of scientific discovery games

FoltIt is a protein folding video game. Proteins are chains of amino acids, and they form a unique 3D structure which is key to their function. Distributed computing isn’t enough to understand protein structures. Game where you try to fold the protein yourself. Game design is difficult, but even more difficult when constrained by the scientific problem you are trying… Read more →

Elizabeth Cochran, Distributed Sensing: using volunteer computing to monitor earthquakes around the world

Quake-Catcher Network: Using distributed sensors to record earthquakes, to put that data into existing regional seismic networks. Aim: To better understand earthquakes and mitigate seismic risk by increasing density of seismic observations. Uses new low-cost sensors that measure acceleration, so can see how much ground shakes during earthquakes. Using BOINC platform. Need volunteers to run sensors, or laptop with sensors…. Read more →

Matt Blumberg, Society of Minds – a framework for distributed thinking

GridRepublic, trying to raise awareness of volunteer computing. Provide people with a list of BOINC projects, can manage all your projects in one website. Progress Thru Processors, trying to reach people in Facebook. Join up, one click process, projects post updates to hopefully reach volunteers’ friends. Distributed thinking – what can be done if you draw on the intellectual resources… Read more →

Mark Hedges, Sustaining archives

Archives, physical or digital. All sorts of documents, but many are important to historians, e.g. scraps of paper from early days of computing can be very important later on. Time consuming to find things. Dangers to sustainability – stuff gets lost, thrown away, destroyed by accident or fire. Digital archives, easier to access, but often funding runs out and we… Read more →

David Aanensen, EpiCollect – a generic framework for open data collection using smartphones

Looks at a number of projects, including which tracks MRSA spread, and Bd-Maps which looks at amphibian health. Have been developing a smartphone app so that people in the field can add data. Use GPS so location aware, can take in stills/video. EpiCollect, can submit info and access data others have submitted, and do data filtering. Android and iPhone… Read more →

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