Wikisym 2012 Sneak Peeks!

It’s hard to believe we’re just weeks away from Wikisym 2012. In the next few days, I wanted to highlight some content at the conference we’re very excited about. Today, I’m highlighting our closing keynote speaker, Brent Hecht.

Brent is a PhD candidate at Northwestern, and will be starting at the University of Minnesota this coming year. He’s giving a very thoughtful talk on the ways to mine and encourage diversity in user generated content communities. From his abstract:

“It is well known – especially to WikiSym attendees – that Wikipedia articles and other forms of user-generated content (UGC) play a significant role in the everyday lives of average Web users. Outside the public eye, however, UGC has become equally indispensable as a source of world knowledge for vital systems and algorithms in numerous areas of computer science. In this talk, I will demonstrate that UGC reflects the cultural diversity of its contributors to a previously unidentified extent and that this diversity has important implications for millions of Web users and many existing UGC-based technologies. Focusing on Wikipedia, I will show how UGC diversity can be extracted and measured using diversity mining algorithms and techniques from geographic information science. Finally, through two novel applications – Omnipedia and Atlasify – I will highlight the exciting potential for a new class of technologies enabled by the ability to harvest diverse perspectives from UGC.”

Brent’s an engaging speaker, who has wowed crowds at CHI. We’re looking forward to his participation in the coming conference.

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