Email traffic patterns can reveal ringleaders

By looking for patterns in email traffic, a new technique can quickly identify online communities and the key people in them. The approach could mean terrorists or criminal gangs give themselves away, even if they are communicating in code or only discussing the weather.


"If the CIA or another intelligence agency has a lot of intercepted email from people suspected of being part of a criminal network, they could use the technique to figure out who the leaders of the network might be," says Joshua Tyler of Hewlett-Packard's labs in Palo Alto, California. At the very least, it would help them prioritise investigations, he says.


Emailcommunities Tyler and his colleagues Dennis Wilkinson and Bernardo Huberman, study email communication patterns and communities among networks of people. The trio wondered if they could identify distinct communities within Hewlett-Packard's research lab simply by analysing the IT manager's log of nearly 200,000 internal emails sent by 485 employees over a couple of months.


They plotted the links between people who had exchanged at least 30 emails with each other, and found the plot included 1110 links between 367 people. In a network as large and complex as this, the plot alone will not tell you which groups people are.


11:25 AM | Permalink

Couples in Conflict or Cooperation?

Sexselect <>

Darwin's primary legacy, the theory of evolution, has robustly withstood years of scientific challenges. But now a team of Stanford researchers has published a paper in Science claiming they can top Darwin's second monster: sexual selection theory.

The Stanford group says sexual selection theory wrongly models interactions between the sexes as competitive. The group has a new theory, social selection, which models mate selection as a cooperative game where parties seek to maximize group welfare.

08:41 PM | Permalink

How Social is Social Software?

Socialsoftware Hello.  My name is Josh Levy and I'm a new blogger at iDC.  Like the other writers here, I'm interested in "social software" -- a phrase that writers and technophiles casually use to describe a host of different web applications.  My work at Hunter College, where I'm in the Integrated Media Arts MFA program, centers on using technology to facilitate community-building and social awareness.  "Social software" can potentially play a role in this and my work is an investigation into how this might happen; however, it's hard to read about technologies like blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking and tagging services without getting stuck in the business-oriented hype surrounding them.  I'm wondering if, because of their emphasis on social contexts and reliance on community input, these technologies can be put to use to help build communities, much in the way that community newspapers have functioned for the last 150 years.

A common criticism (one that I share) of personal networking software like Friendster, MySpace, or Facebook is that it contributes to "iPod culture," a culture that's becoming more and more atomized and insular and encourages consumers to tailor everything in their world to their own tastes, dispensing with the unpredictable world outside their earbuds.  Although they're "socially" oriented, these sites are often geared towards helping individuals to congratulate themselves for their collections of friends, hobbies, and interests.  They don't always facilitate social relationships outside of pre-existing ones.

I think there's a way to harness the networking strength of those sites and add the strengths of blogs, wikis, VoiP, tagging, etc., to make them help people build communities based on mutual interest and need, both within and without academia.  While the business world debates the staying power of the Web 2.0, the non-profit world and academia can benefit from the truly remarkable potential these technologies represent.

10:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Learning on the go

Walk1_2_11_06_1_1 The iDC list has had some great conversations (still going on at the moment!) about conferences and such recently, discussing alternative formats the problematics of bringing people together to share ideas, develop tactics and strategies, network and learn from each other in general. In a lot of ways, it seems that the whole point of conferences is to extend the traditional space of the classroom and other learning environments into more professional and specialized spaces. Of course, i'm speaking in a completely idealistic and non-cynical manner here.
But i think a lot of innovations that can be applied to educational settings can also be considered in relation to professional conferences if we want to take them as seriously and assume that they are indeed more than lines on a resume.
i was considering this while following a new course here at UIUC being taught by my colleague Kevin Hamilton, library science (& more) researcher Piotr Adamczyk and visiting artists Laurie Long and M.Simon Levin based on a larger series of events. The class, titled Mobile Mapping for Everyday Spaces, involves students from various disciplines (including art, dance, computer science and landscape architecture) in the study and creation of cartographic technologies based on walking. Without going too much into it, one great thing that i gather is going on from my limited involvement in the course is the focused back-and-forth between discursive exploration and shared problem solving. In other words, they read/view and discuss others' works related to a topic and then work on specific problems in collaborative groups, which is then fed back into discussion.

While this is extremely simple (my description, not the class), i wonder if conferences and the like could benefit from this kind of discursive workshop model. How can conference sessions actually organize response mechanisms (i.e. focused on the feedback) rather than the delivery of singular "vanguard" positions?

09:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

WWW Collaboration Projects

This is a list of resources about collaboration technologies and WWW projects that support collaboration by participants.  Please add others to the responses below or on the appropriate page.

11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Creative Research and Collaboration Conference in New Zealand

SPARK 05 - Wintec, Hamilton, New Zealand Saturday 27th August 2005 10am-5pm ŒCreative Research & Collaboration¹ is a one-day forum that will explore key issues relating to creative practice as research and creative collaborations by practitioners from across the sector. Featuring two keynote presentations by Professor Paul Carter, University of Melbourne, and Professor Sally J Morgan, Massey University, followed by two panel discussions chaired by Tim Walker and Rob Garrett, the forum will encourage debate, discussion and understanding relating to creative research, research methodologies, collaborative practices, and the impact of the PBRF on the creative sector. The forum will be useful to all creative practitioners working in the sector including artists, academics, creative practitioners, policy makers, curators and administrators.

10:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


"Freeing the Fruits of Creativity - a brainstorming on strategies how to boost the generation of free content"

Saturday the 6th of August 05, at 9:30, Frankfurt

see a short text at:

The goal would be, to start a "free content activist‚s database on campaign ideas and interaction opportunities".

01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Conference on Collective Creativity

Collective Creativity
Kunsthalle Fridericianum Kassel
1.5. - 17.7.2005.

Collective Creativity deals with different forms of collective artistic  creativity, whose protagonists share common programs, ways of life, methodologies or political standpoints. The exhibition is focused on specific kinds of social tensions that serve as a common axis around which various group activities are being organized. It is interested in the different emancipatory aspects of collective work where collaborative creativity is not only a form of resisting the dominant art system and capitalist call for specialization, but also a productive and performative criticism of social institutions and politics.

By moving away from visions of the collective understood as a homogenous, unified body in which singularities are irrevocably drawn into an anonymous mass, collective creativity is inscribed in a field of exciting, creative interactions and multidirectional and unpredictable group dynamics. Through collective and group ways of operating and their relating to each other and toward the world at large, a complex terrain is being shaped in which projects of concrete  social transformations are fused with ideas of radical individuation.

These overlappings and intersections are exactly what makes the unique  spaces of collectivism so attractive - it seems that only within them we can imagine the realization of our potentialities. Formed in the background of accomplishing tasks which are not possible to accomplish  individually, experiences of collectivity are imposed as crucial transformational forces of individuals and society.

Groups / Artists:
3NOS3 | AA Bronson | Allegoric Postcard Union | Pawel Althamer in collaboration with Artur Zmijewski and Nowolipie Group | Art & Language | B+B | BankMalbekRau | Joseph Beuys | BijaRi | Bokhorov/Gutov/Osmolovsky | Collective Actions | Contra File | Escape Program | Etcetera... | flyingCity | Freud's Dreams Museum | General Idea | Gilbert & George | Gorgona | Group of Six Artists | Grupo de Arte Callejero | Gruppo Parole e Immagini | Guerilla Art Action Group |
Dmitry Gutov | IRWIN | kleines postfordistisches Drama | Maj 75 | Moscow Portraits | Neue Slowenische Kunst | Oda Projesi | OHO | Pages in collaboration with Kianoosh Vahabi | Radek Community | Mladen Stilinovic | Superflex | SKART | Taller Popular de Serigrafia |
Temporary Services and Angelo | The Revolution Will Not Be Televised | Tucuman Arde Archive (Graciela Carnevale) | Urucum | Zagreb - Cultural Kapital 3000 | What is to be done?...

Curated by What, How & for Whom / WHW (Ivet Curlin, Ana Devic, Natasa Ilic and Sabina Sabolovic). WHW is an independent curatorial collective that organizes different publication, exhibition and publishing projects and also directs Gallery Nova in Zagreb, Croatia.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a reader, published by Revolver, with contributions by: Art & Language, Collective Situaciones, Charles Esche, Ljiljana Filipovic, Jon Hendricks, Brian Holmes, IRWIN, Ana Longoni, Viktor Misiano, Angelika Nollert, WHW and Stephen Wright.
Designed by Dejan Krsic. German/English edition, 350 pages, two colours
with illustrations, ISBN: 3-86588-089-4

Collective Creativity  is a cooperation between Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel and Siemens Arts Program, Munich.

Što, kako i za koga/WHW
What, How and for Whom
Baruna Trenka 4
10 000 Zagreb
tel/fax + 3851 4922478

04:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)