Dr. Rick Wash to present "Socio-Technical Influences on Behavior in Social Media"

February 17, 2010

Rick Wash photoDr. Rick Wash will be on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus Monday, February 22 to present, "Socio-Technical Influences on Behavior in Social Media."

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will take place in room 14 of Manning Hall (ground level) at 2 p.m.

(NOTE: For those who attended the presentation, please complete the survey.)

Since users of social media systems are motivated to accomplish goals, it is possible to influence their behavior. There are a wide variety of influences on this behavior, which commonly fall into two broad categories: social influences, and technology-related influences. Much behavior results from social influences, such as when people conform to social norms or obey authority figures. Behavior is also shaped by many technical influences such as the design, usability and affordances of the social media interface. However, technology also constrains both what social information is displayed to the user and when that display happens, thereby altering the social influences and, ultimately, behavior. In his research, Wash studies these socio-technical influences on user behavior. In his talk he will discuss a selection of socio-technical influences: personal organization that motivates contributions, the "power of the ask" to induce participation, and the effect of contribution thresholds for access. In addition, he argues that understanding socio-technical influences is particularly useful for designing future social media systems.

About Rick Wash
Dr. Rick Wash is currently a visiting assistant professor at Michigan State University in the department of Telecommunications, Information Studies, and Media. He recently completed his Ph.D. from the School of Information at the University of Michigan under Jeff MacKie-Mason. He also has an MS in Computer Science from Michigan and a BS in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University. His current research involves understanding the motivations for using social computing and social media systems, and designing such systems to influence users to make high-quality contributions.